Data, Stats, News & Info

San Juan Basin
Data, History, and Current State

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

Overview

San Juan Basin Oil and Gas

The San Juan Basin is a major geological structural basin located primarily in the southwestern United States, known for its significant reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal.

The San Juan Basin

The San Juan is one of the oldest producing areas in the United States, with the first conventional natural gas discovered in 1921, and the first CBM well spud in 1948.

What is the San Juan Basin?

The San Juan Basin covers approximately 7,500 square miles, covering parts of northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, and small portions of Arizona and Utah.

The San Juan Basin is a geologic structural basin filled with thick sequences of sedimentary rocks ranging in age from the Paleozoic through the Cenozoic. It is primarily known for its rich deposits of coalbed methane, a form of natural gas extracted from coal seams.

The basin’s hydrocarbon resources are found in several key formations, with the Fruitland Formation being particularly significant for coalbed methane production.

Horizontal Rig Count

The San Juan Basin: History, Data and Facts

Oil production in the San Juan Basin began in the early 1900s.

When and how did it start?

Oil production in the San Juan Basin began in the early 1920s, with significant developments occurring during the mid-20th century.

The discovery of oil in the Dakota Sandstone in the 1920s marked the beginning of commercial oil production. The basin experienced several booms and busts, with notable peaks in production occurring during the 1950s and 1980s.

Despite being more renowned for its natural gas, the San Juan Basin still produces a substantial amount of oil, particularly from conventional reservoirs and some unconventional plays.

Oil production over the last 10 years

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d]

Top counties [August 2013 - August 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d] of the Top Counties
# County State Horizontal Well Count - August 2023 Daily Production (Bo/d) - August 2023
1 San Juan (NM) New Mexico 327 19,848
2 Sandoval New Mexico 129 5,598
3 Rio Arriba New Mexico 207 556
4 La Plata Colorado 78 0
5 Archuleta Colorado 60 0

Top 15 oil operators [August 2013 - August 2023] - wells by current operator

Horizontal Well Daily Oil Production [bo/d] of the Top 15 operators
# Operator State Daily Production (Bo/d) - August 2023
1 DJR Energy New Mexico 12,639
2 Enduring Resources New Mexico 8,843
3 Devon Energy New Mexico 3,718
4 Logos Resources II New Mexico 686
5 Energen Resources New Mexico 32
6 Huntington Energy New Mexico 23
7 Coleman Oil & Gas New Mexico 21
8 Hilcorp Energy Colorado 8
9 Robert L. Bayless New Mexico 8
10 Juniper Resources Exploration Company New Mexico 7
11 Exxon Mobil New Mexico 7
12 U.S. Enercorp New Mexico 7
13 Magnolia Oil & Gas New Mexico 2
14 Elm Ridge New Mexico 0
15 EOG New Mexico 0

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The San Juan Basin Gas Production

When and how did it start?

The San Juan Basin is one of the most prolific natural gas producing regions in the United States, particularly noted for its coalbed methane resources.

Natural gas production began in the 1950s, with significant discoveries in formations such as the Dakota Sandstone and the Mesaverde Group. However, the major breakthrough came in the 1980s with the large-scale development of coalbed methane in the Fruitland Formation.

In 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) ranked the combined San Juan Basin Gas Area in Colorado and New Mexico as the 2nd largest natural gas field in the United States based on proved reserves.

Despite fluctuations in production due to market conditions and regulatory changes, the San Juan Basin remains a significant source of natural gas today.

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d]

Top counties [August 2013 - August 2023]

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d] of the Top Couties
# County State Horizontal Well Count - August 2023 Daily Production (Mcf/d) - August 2023
1 La Plata Colorado 78 88,809
2 Rio Arriba New Mexico 207 74,899
3 San Juan (NM) New Mexico 327 68,480
4 Archuleta Colorado 60 48,433
5 Sandoval New Mexico 129 24,086

Top 15 natural gas operators [August 2013 - August 2023] - wells by current operator

Horizontal Well Daily Gas Production [Mcf/d] of the Top 15 Operators
# Operator State Daily Production (Mcf/d) - August 2023
1 Simcoe New Mexico & Colorado 67,526
2 DJR Energy New Mexico 44,846
3 Logos Resources II New Mexico 43,658
4 Catamount Energy New Mexico & Colorado 40,557
5 Red Willow Colorado 36,540
6 Devon Energy New Mexico 21,921
7 Morningstar Partners New Mexico 14,343
8 Enduring Resources New Mexico 13,661
9 Hilcorp Energy New Mexico & Colorado 11,758
10 Morningstar Operating New Mexico & Colorado 2,709
11 Black Hills New Mexico 1,396
12 Exxon Mobil New Mexico 1,318
13 Petrox Resources Colorado 1,146
14 Bp America Production New Mexico & Colorado 1,072
15 Energen Resources New Mexico 854

Natural resources in the San Juan Basin

The San Juan Basin is not only rich in oil and natural gas but also hosts coal, coalbed Methane, and Uranium deposits.

The San Juan Basin formations

The San Juan Basin is home to several major geological formations, each with its own unique characteristics and significance. Here are some of the notable formations found in the San Juan Basin.

Major formations:

Fruitland Formation

The Fruitland Formation is primarily known for its coal deposits and associated coalbed methane (CBM) production. It’s one of the leading areas for CBM production in the United States.

Lewis Shale

The Lewis Shale is a marine shale formation from the Late Cretaceous period. It is composed mostly of dark, silty shale with occasional sandstone and siltstone beds.

Upper Mesaverde Group

This group contains important hydrocarbon reservoirs, particularly natural gas.

Gallup Sandstone

The Gallup Sandstone consists mainly of marine and deltaic sandstones with interbedded shales.

Mancos Shale

The Mancos Shale is a thick marine shale formation. It is primarily composed of dark gray to black shale with occasional limestone and siltstone layers.

Dakota Sandstone

The Dakota Sandstone is composed of fluvial to shallow marine sandstones, with interbedded shales and mudstones.

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Check our Latest San Juan News and Updates

Utah – update through January 2019

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