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Two For New Mexico

Eleven thousand HZ tight oil wells (11,000) in just two, partial counties of S.E. New Mexico, the S.W portion of Lea and the S.E. portion of Eddy, produce approximately 1.9 MM BOPD, or 33% of total Permian Basin tight oil production. These two counties have had more than 45% of the total Permian rig count running in them for three years now. New Mexico is now growing oil production faster than any other state in the nation, including Texas, so says, here:

Sixty six percent (66%) of those HZ tight oil in these two counites' produce from three benches in the Bone Springs formation, the rest from two benches of the upper Wolfcamp. The productive limits of the HZ Bone Springs and Wolfcamp play in New Mexico are well delineated; to the east by the Central Platform and to the west by a liquids-rich gas leg. Within the productive limits of the HZ tight oil play in New Mexico are some 400,000 gross acres reserved for potash mining.

Well productivity in these two counties has been falling for new wells drilled since 2017 (Enverus, Novi) and late life (wells producing <50 BOPD) decline rates are accelerating, in Eddy County, for instance, now approaching 17% annually (Novi, Journal of Petroleum Technology [SPE]). The hyperbolic type curve still used in the Permian Basin for self promotion reasons continues to be an enormous, deceptive exaggeration.

Below is a Novi chart for well productivity in Lea County for the largest operator/driller of HZ Bone Springs wells in the county, EOG, who has, for the most part, drilled up its acreage in New Mexico and is now fleeing to Ohio.

When New Mexico rolls over in the HZ tight oil play, the entire Permian Basin will roll over.

The steepness of the ensuing decline will shock people. Nobody will be quite prepared for what happens next.


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