(KWTX) The U.S. Geological Survey has determined that a vast shale field in West Texas and New Mexico could yield 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, the agency said in a press release Thursday.
The Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico has the largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed, the USGS said.
"Christmas came a few weeks early this year," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
"American strength flows from American energy, and as it turns out, we have a lot of American energy. Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States. Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation."
In November of 2016, the agency estimated the Wolfcamp Formation could yield 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
“The results of this most recent assessment and that of the Wolfcamp Formation in the Midland Basin in 2016 are our largest continuous oil and gas assessments ever released,” said Dr. Jim Reilly, USGS Director.
“Knowing where these resources are located and how much exists is crucial to ensuring both our energy independence and energy dominance.”