Data, Stats, News & Info

Central Basin Platform Data, History & Stats

This guide provides information about the Central Basin Platform, oil and gas data, history, top operators, and other facts.

Counties-Central-Basin-Platform

Overview

Central Basin Oil and Gas

The Central Basin is part of the larger Permian Basin, the most prolific oil-producing region in the United States.

Many legendary oil discoveries were made on the Central Basin Platform, starting in the 1920s.

Central Basin: Subbasin of the largest oil-producing region in the US.

The region has been producing for nearly a century and still contains massive resources of oil and gas. In April of 2022, The Permian Basin accounted for 43.6% of oil production within the U.S. and nearly 15% of gas production. 

What is the Central Basin?

The Central Basin, a distinctive geological feature within the Permian Basin, occupies a substantial area in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, USA. Spanning approximately 7,000 square miles (18,000 square kilometers), the Central Basin Platform is bounded by its neighboring basins and platforms.

To the east, the Central Basin is bordered by the Midland Basin, another major sub-basin of the Permian Basin. On the western side sits the Delaware Basin, another prominent sub-basin of the Permian Basin. 

The Central Basin: History, Data and Facts

The history of oil production in the Central Basin is proof of the region’s critical role in the development of the oil industry. The Central Basin’s oil production traces back to the early 20th century, and its growth has been shaped by technological advancements, exploration efforts, and economic factors. 

When and how did it start?

The Central Basin’s oil history began with the discovery of the Yates Oil Field in 1926 near the city of Iraan, Texas. The Yates Field marked the start of significant oil production in the region. It was discovered through wildcat drilling efforts led by independent oilmen. The Yates discovery opened the door to further exploration and development within the Central Basin Platform.

The 1930s marked a period of rapid expansion in oil production within the Central Basin. The development of new fields and the implementation of enhanced drilling techniques led to increased output. The oil boom in the Central Basin and other parts of Texas contributed to the state’s emergence as a major player in the oil industry.

The late 20th century and early 21st century witnessed further growth in oil production due to the application of advanced technologies like horizontal drilling and waterflooding. The Central Basin’s hydrocarbon-rich formations, such as the San Andres and Grayburg formations, became focal points for exploration and production efforts. 

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d]
Number of horizontal wells with reported production, by state

Top counties [March 2013 - March 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d] of the Top Counties
Ranking County State Horizontal Well Count - March 2023 Daily Production (bo/d) - March 2023
1 Andrews Texas 500 19,881
2 Winkler Texas 115 6,033
3 Ector Texas 112 4,418
4 Crane Texas 198 3,327
5 Gaines Texas 107 1,800
6 Lea New Mexico 18 574
7 Ward (TX) Texas 16 493
8 Upton Texas 19 150
9 Pecos Texas 5 11

Top 40 oil operators [March 2013 - March 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d] of the Top 40 operators
Ranking Operators State Horizontal Well Count - March 2023 Daily Production (Bo/d) - March 2023
1 Elevation Resources Texas 63 7,506
2 Ring Energy Texas 230 4,347
3 Saddleback Exploration Texas 53 3,595
4 Lime Rock Resources IV Texas 123 3,434
5 Blackbeard Texas 50 2,874
6 Fasken Oil Texas 4 2,037
7 Occidental Texas & New Mexico 43 1,384
8 Boyd & McWilliams Texas 6 1,268
9 Zarvona Energy Texas 27 1,119
10 Ares Energy Texas 5 976
11 Crescent Energy Texas 41 932
12 Maverick Natural Resources Texas 34 794
13 Apache Texas & New Mexico 90 673
14 Diamondback Texas 5 605
15 Continental Resources Texas 1 529
16 Bosque Texas Oil Texas 5 514
17 JRC Texas & New Mexico 11 514
18 Exxon Mobil Texas 30 385
19 Sabinal Energy Texas 8 372
20 Texland Petroleum Texas 12 322
21 Avad Operating Texas 23 313
22 Slant Operating Texas 68 276
23 Manzano Texas & New Mexico 2 218
24 Burleson Petroleum Texas 2 207
25 Burk Royalty Texas 9 205
26 Parallel Texas 12 189
27 Raptor Petroleum Texas 8 180
28 Nec Operating Texas 16 150
29 Ica Energy Texas 4 141
30 Mewbourne Oil Texas 13 125
31 Morningstar Operating Texas 2 110
32 Sozo Natural Resources Texas 11 99
33 Custer & Wright Operating Texas 1 58
34 Kinder Morgan Texas 1 37
35 Walsh & Watts Texas 5 32
36 WTG Exploration Texas 4 26
37 Montare Texas 2 20
38 Sundown Energy Texas 1 20
39 Strand Energy Texas 1 18
40 Opal Resources Operating Nex Mexico 1 16

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The Central Basin Gas Production

When and how did it start?

The initial focus of the Central Basin was primarily on oil production, and natural gas was often considered an associated or byproduct of oil production. During the early years of oil exploration and production in the Central Basin, any natural gas produced was typically flared or released into the atmosphere due to limited infrastructure and market demand for the gas itself.

As the demand for natural gas grew, especially for residential and industrial use, the industry began to recognize the value of natural gas as a marketable resource. This transition took place over the mid-20th century, driven by advancements in pipeline infrastructure and gas processing technologies. These advancements made it economically viable to extract and utilize natural gas from remote fields, including those within the Central Basin.

Starting in the latter half of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century, the Central Basin’s natural gas production experienced notable growth.

Gas production over the last 10 years

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d]

Top counties [March 2013 - March 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d] of the Top 20 Counties
Ranking County State Horizontal Well Count - March 2023 Daily Production (Mcf/d) - March 2023
1 Andrews Texas 500 55,682
2 Winkler Texas 115 12,784
3 Ector Texas 112 10,891
4 Crane Texas 198 7,223
5 Gaines Texas 107 3,099
6 Ward (TX) Texas 16 1,254
7 Lea New Mexico 18 1,075
8 Upton Texas 19 33
9 Pecos Texas 5 0

Top 50 natural gas operators [March 2013 - March 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d] of the Top 40 Operators
Ranking Counties State Horizontal Well Count - March 2023 Daily Production (Mcf/d) - March 2023
1 Elevation Resources Texas 63 27,353
2 Fasken Oil Texas 4 7,013
3 Saddleback Exploration Texas 53 6,655
4 Lime Rock Resources IV Texas 123 6,577
5 Maverick Natural Resources Texas 34 5,623
6 Blackbeard Texas 50 5,468
7 Ring Energy Texas 230 5,145
8 Occidental Texas & New Mexico 43 5,121
9 Zarvona Energy Texas 27 4,695
10 Crescent Energy Texas 41 2,885
11 Bosque Texas Oil Texas 5 2,505
12 Apache Texas & New Mexico 90 2,128
13 JRC Texas & New Mexico 11 1,674
14 Ares Energy Texas 5 1,601
15 Boyd & McWilliams Texas 6 1,510
16 Exxon Mobil Texas 30 856
17 Diamondback Texas 5 840
18 Continental Resources Texas 1 788
19 Slant Operating Texas 68 719
20 Burleson Petroleum Texas 2 713
21 Ica Energy Texas 4 510
22 Mewbourne Oil Texas 13 311
23 Sabinal Energy Texas 8 258
24 Burk Royalty Texas 9 139
25 Raptor Petroleum Texas 8 137
26 Parallel Texas 12 123
27 Sozo Natural Resources Texas 11 99
28 Texland Petroleum Texas 12 91
29 Sundown Energy Texas 1 85
30 Avad Operating Texas 23 75
31 Walsh & Watts Texas 5 64
32 Custer & Wright Operating Texas 1 58
33 Manzano Texas & New Mexico 2 35
34 Nec Operating Texas 16 33
35 Morningstar Operating Texas 2 30
36 Montare Texas 2 29
37 Strand Energy Texas 1 26
38 Owl Ops II Texas 1 21
39 BCP Resources Texas 1 13
40 Kinder Morgan Texas 1 8

Natural resources in the Central Basin Platform

The Central Basin Platform possesses not only substantial hydrocarbon resources but also a range of valuable natural resources. Notably, it is characterized by its rich deposits of salt and potash, both of which are found within the Permian Salado Formation. These salt beds within the Permian Salado Formation are a crucial source of rock salt, or halite, which holds significant industrial importance, finding applications in chemical production and de-icing processes.

Potash, a vital source of potassium, plays a important role in supporting plant growth and agricultural activities. The discovery of Sylvite within the basin during the early 20th century marked the inception of potassium salt production, commonly referred to as potash.

The Central Basin formations

The Central Basin is characterized by a series of major formations that have played a crucial role in shaping its geological history and contributing to its significance as an energy-producing region. These formations, composed of various rock types and sediments, offer valuable insights into the platform’s evolution and the development of its hydrocarbon resources. Here are some of the major formations within the Central Basin Platform:

Major formations:

Yates

The Yates Formation consists of interbedded limestone, sandstone, and shale. It hosts hydrocarbon-bearing rocks and has been a target for oil exploration and development in the Central Basin Platform.

Queen

The Queen Formation is characterized by a mix of carbonate and clastic rocks, including limestone, sandstone, and shale. This formation has been a source of hydrocarbon reservoirs and has contributed to the platform’s oil production.

Grayburg

The Grayburg Formation is another important carbonate unit within the Central Basin Platform. Like the San Andres Formation, it consists of limestone and dolomite and contains hydrocarbon reservoirs. The Grayburg Formation has contributed to the region’s oil production and is an essential component of the platform’s geological stratigraphy.

San Andres

This carbonate-rich formation is one of the most prominent and economically significant in the Central Basin Platform. Comprising limestone and dolomite, the San Andres Formation is known for its oil-bearing reservoirs. It has been a target for oil exploration and production due to its porosity and permeability, which enable the storage and flow of hydrocarbons.

Clear Fork

The Clear Fork consists of several formations, including limestone and dolomite units. While not as prolific in terms of hydrocarbon production as some other formations, it contributes to the overall stratigraphy of the platform.

Wolfcamp

This formation consists of several layers of shale, siltstone, sandstone, and limestone, each possessing distinct characteristics that contribute to its hydrocarbon-bearing capacity. The Wolfcamp Formation is known for its vast oil and gas reserves, and it has been a focal point of exploration and production efforts within the Central Basin Platform

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