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NMOGA: Oil production records broken

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The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association reports that last year was a record-breaking one for oil production in the state.

NMOGA cites figures from the United States Energy Information Administration that the state produced 172 million barrels of oil in 2017. That topped the previous record of 147 million barrels and was set in 2015.

The figures also show that New Mexico’s oil output has doubled since 2011.

NMOGA also said that New Mexico’s oil producers closed the year on a strong note, producing 17.2 million barrels in December. The state maintained the position as the third largest oil-producing state and setting the stage for growth this year.

“Growing New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry means growth in jobs, the economy and funding for our public schools and state budget,” said NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn in a statement.

Flynn credited the Permian Basin, which takes in Southeastern New Mexico and Western Texas, for the growth and potential that oil and gas producers are seeing.

“Last year, oil and natural gas producers invested more than $13 billion in New Mexico and these investments are clearly beginning to have positive impact on the state’s economy,” Flynn added.

“We are very, very fortunate to enjoy the amazing benefits of those natural resources in New Mexico, said State Rep. Jim Townsend of Artesia.

NMOGA also cites a new report from the International Energy Agency that says the Permian Basin shows no sign of stopping and that daily output in the Permian Basin will double by 2023.

Rep. Townsend said the industry has been helped by technology over the years.

“We are equally fortunate to enjoy the ingenuity of this ever-developing industry that continues to make significant strides in technology to reduce impacts while improving efficiency and values,” he said.

Rep. Townsend added, “we have seen significant investments by companies with proven track records and I think we have many opportunities in our state’s future.”

NMOGA said the news comes as the state’s finances begin to rebound on the strength of oil and natural gas production. Economists told lawmakers during the recently completed legislative session that the state is on track to surpass current annual spending with $292 million in “new” money that is being driven mostly by gains in market prices for oil and prolific production in the Permian Basin.

NMOGA also cites a report from the New Mexico Tax Research Institute that said the state’s general fund and public schools have also benefitted from sizable oil and natural gas taxes and revenue contributions in the previous fiscal year which totaled $1.742 billion, including $711 million in funding for public schools and nearly $223 million for the state’s universities, colleges and other higher education institutions.

The uptick in oil production is also helping one community in Southeastern New Mexico.

Nearly two years ago, the Artesia City Council had to cut wages by 10 percent for city employees as they approved the final budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

“I know that I and all of my colleagues on the City Council are absolutely thrilled that the economy has made the turn and is headed in a positive direction,” said District 3 city councilor Jeff Youtsey.

“We’ve had to make some gut-wrenching decisions over the last couple of years. Our city employees are the absolute best in the state, and sacrificed more than any through it all,” he added.

“I’d put them up against anyone. Artesia weathered the storm and will continue as the City of Champions through bad and good times,” Youtsey said.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.