The United States Department of the Interior announced a revision last week about an increase in the potential production in the Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation. The announcement stated, two underground layers in the Delaware Basin in the Permian shale play of West Texas and New Mexico, contain 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. This represents the largest pool of oil and gas reserves anywhere in the United States. The Permian is already the driving force in production hitting an all-time high in November of 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd) as it is the biggest producer and boasts the quickest rate of production at 3.63 million bpd.
Oil well drilling in the United States has increased dramatically in the last five years. The increase in drilling activity has had a direct impact on petroleum pricing. Rig counts are an indicator for the potential supply picture of the oil and gas industry. A sharp increase in the number of drilling rigs domestically, would potentially affect the direction of product prices. The industry tends to speculate the greater number of active drilling rigs, the lower the price.