Permian Basin News Pulse December 2021

Posted: January 27, 2022

The Permian Basin | December 2021

Field Overview

Located in West Texas, the Permian Basin has been producing oil for over 100 years. It leads the US in oil production and estimates put 43 billion bbl of oil still in the Permian; 80% of those reserves are believed to be at less than 10,000 feet. Some top formations are the Wolfcamp, Upper/Lower Spraberry, and the Leonard.

State Drilling Statistics

Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 293 (+5)
Total Rigs in Texas- 277 (+5)
Total Rigs in United States- 586 (+17)
Total U.S. Rigs 53% YTD

Top Producer by BOE – Pioneer

Permian Permitting Data
Permits Approved – 816

Basin Highlights

Permian Earthquake to Hike Scrutiny of Drilling Waste Injections

A series of tremors rippled through the Permian basin in late December, which some regulators believe to have been caused by underground wastewater injections. The largest of these seismic events is a 4.5 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest in the state in over a decade. Permian operators are looking into alternative solutions of wastewater disposal that don’t include disrupting the surrounding geology. Such solutions include either recycling the wastewater or trucking it to some other location. 

RRC Suspends Water Disposal Injection in Section of Permian Basin

The cities of Midland and Odessa experienced earthquakes of magnitude 3.1, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.3, launching an investigation of the nearby injection sites. In light of the recent seismic activity, the Texas Railroad Commission has suspended all wastewater injection operations until further notice beginning Dec. 31, 2021. More specifically the RRC has stated that disposal wells may not be drilled below the Straw Formation which occurs at roughly 10,000 feet below the surface. Shallow disposal wells may still be permitted with exceptions.  

FireBird Energy Acquires Midland Basin Assets from Chevron

A relative newcomer named FireBird Energy LLC made its second significant acquisition since its inception in 2019. Based in Fort Worth, the assets they recently acquired from Chevron are located in the western Midland Basin. The additional acreage boosts their production in the area to 11,500 boe/d and  CEO Travis F. Thompson says this is one of many steps the company is taking to increase its footprint in the Permian

EnCap Merges Two Permian Portfolio Companies in $4 Billion Deal

The top oil-producing field in the U.S. is a hotbed of dealmaking between investment firms and operators, especially with this year’s recovery in crude oil prices. Via EnCap Investments LP, Advance Energy Partners and Ameredev II LLC have been merged into one company worth a staggering $4 billion dollars. The resulting company will be one of the largest privately-owned oil producers in the Delaware Basin and is expected by many to go public in 2022. 

Operators with Highest Permitting

5XTO Energy28
Hyperlinks to available Q3 2021 Reports

Top Producers By BOE—————————— –

ChangeRankCompanyProduction (mmBOE) (12/21)
3XTO Energy94.1
Hyperlinks to available Q3 2021 Reports

Counties with Highest Permitting


Rig Count

Texas Oil Production

Texas Gas Production

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