First off, the Permian Basin just sounds intimidating, and for good reason! Today it’s one of the largest oil and gas plays in the United States, producing two-thirds of the oil for the state of Texas and fifteen percent of the country’s oil.
Fun fact: It’s also the second-largest oil field in the world behind Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar Field. Who knew.
These facts beg the question of when drilling in the Permian began. It turns out that in 1921, we drilled the Permian Basin for the very first time. It’s kind of insane to think we’ve almost eclipsed 100 years of drilling in this oil-rich region with no signs of it slowing down.
On the eastern side of the Permian, a first well named the Santa Rita No. 1 was spudded in 1921, and completed in 1923. In fact, if you’ve ever seen a movie called “The Rookie” starring Dennis Quaid, they tell a story about this oil well during the first five minutes.
The well produced oil for decades before getting capped in the 1990’s, but it was this discovery that changed oil and gas as we knew it in the United States.
Since we discovered the Permian Basin, we’ve recovered over 29 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It’s gone through its fair share of up and down periods, however, recent breakthroughs in fracking ushered in a new period of prosperity for the region in the 2000’s.
Featured image courtesy of The 24 Best Oilfield Drone Shots Of 2016.