The Real-Life Economics of Record U.S. Oil Production


We’re right in the middle of what some are calling an “energy renaissance.” For the first time in more than forty years, the United States is producing more oil than Saudi Arabia and is projected to surpass Russia to become the world’s biggest oil producer. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that by next year, U.S. output will be 11.8 million barrels per day.

This is good news for America. Record production brings solid benefits like energy security, economic growth, and ongoing prosperity. For example, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) had a second quarter increase in 2018 of 4.1 percent, the best pace since 2014 — in large part because U.S. natural gas and oil production and exports are up to record levels.

It’s easy to see the global and national impact of this energy renaissance, but how is it impacting real-life communities across America?


Oil production is booming in the Permian Basin of southeastern New Mexico, and natural gas and oil have become an integral part of New Mexico’s economy. For many years, ConocoPhillips has been a producer in the Permian Basin, and with the latest technology, foresees tremendous opportunity for future large-scale growth.

New Mexico State Representative Larry Larrañaga (R-Albuquerque) compared New Mexico oil production to a gold rush. He said the state is fortunate to have the industry and thinks with technological advances in drilling, the current boom will last well into the future.

He said, “What we have going on in southeast New Mexico is a black gold rush that’s absolutely unbelievable. New Mexico is kind of sitting in the catbird seat in terms of production. The Permian Basin has not even come close to peaking.”

New Mexico’s natural gas and oil industry is responsible for over 100,000 jobs in the state. The average salary for the state’s industry worker is $71,505, more than $20,000 higher than the average New Mexico salary.
New Mexico’s oil industry contributes more than $11.3 billion to the state economy and has boosted state revenues both directly and indirectly. The state’s gross tax collections have gone up by 16.7 percent from one year ago — that’s $252.4 million in receipts.
In 2017, the natural gas and oil industry supported New Mexico public schools with $711 million, and nearly $223 million to colleges and universities like the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. Learn how this funding impacts K-12 education by viewing this video by the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association.
The state has an annual budget of about $6 billion. The natural gas and oil industry provides one-third of the revenue the state receives. And that is expected to increase by a further $1.2 billion in 2018.
Natural gas and oil production is the single largest source of revenue for New Mexico’s health care, public schools, and higher education institutions.

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