Oil and gas rose to prominence in New Mexico when energy companies were able to tap into huge reservoirs of crude oil and natural gas thousands of feet below the Permian Basin and cities like Carlsbad.
The industry quickly began to generate record revenues in the rural southeastern corner of the state, providing funds for schools and other public services across the state.
Last year, data from the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) showed the industry contributed $ 2.8 billion to the state budget, even as the COVID pandemic -19 reduced fuel demand and production slowed.
Revenue for 2020 marked a slight decline from the previous year, records show, as oil and gas produced about $ 3.1 billion for New Mexico in 2019.
But overall, industry contributions to New Mexico have grown steadily over the past decade from the 2011 total of $ 1.7 billion.
In the southeastern Permian Basin, where most of the oil and gas is produced, the industry has provided billions of dollars to the local economy and supported thousands of jobs.
Eddy County recorded about $ 3.8 billion in overall contributions to its local economy, NMOGA reported, and about $ 1.3 billion in labor income for 16,572 jobs.
To the east, the other county of New Mexico’s Permian Basin has seen similar contributions to its economy and labor market, with Lea County receiving an estimated $ 3.2 billion in total for its economy, 1 , $ 3 billion in labor income and 18,329 jobs supported by the industry, according to NMOGA files.
Locally, the industry’s activities also meant more money for schools, bringing millions of dollars in education to New Mexico’s 33 counties.
Eddy County last year received about $ 38.6 million for schools, according to NMOGA records, while neighboring Lea County received about $ 48.4 million.
These dollars were not only provided to the major oil-producing countries of New Mexico.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said the importance of oil and gas, while significant in his city, goes beyond the local economy and state, supporting the national energy supply and global.
âOil and gas are not only important for the future of Carlsbad, they are also important for the future of the state and the country,â Janway said.
âWe believe this industry will be a vital part of our community for a very long time, and fossil fuels will also be a very important part of meeting our country’s energy needs for a very long time. We are very proud that oil and gas is part of what we do in Carlsbad.
Janway also highlighted Carlsbad’s oil and gas workers, recently honored by the city’s 2021 class of 40 Under 40 and at the annual Oil and Gas Summit in September which hosted its’ Spirit of the Oilfield. Awards âto commemorate industry workers who have contributed to the community.
âThere are thousands of families in Carlsbad who put food on the table every day thanks to the oil and gas industry,â Janway said. “As evidenced by the recent 40 Under 40 list, as well as our ‘Spirit of the Oilfield’ awards, there are so many exceptional people in this industry who have dedicated themselves to their profession and to the community.”
NMOGA spokesman Robert McEntyre said he expected Carlsbad to be an integral part of the oil and gas industry and the economies of New Mexico, the United States and the world for the years to come.
âThe oil and natural gas industry is New Mexico’s biggest economic and fiscal contributor, primarily because of the work going on in Carlsbad and Eddy County,â McEntyre said. âThe safe and responsible development of New Mexico’s natural resources has provided students, families and communities in our state with unprecedented opportunities and resources. “
âProducers, engineers, builders and many more all work daily to protect the communities where they live and work while providing the affordable and reliable energy we depend on for daily life. Southeastern New Mexico can be proud that its work benefits all New Mexicans and shines the future of our state.
Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-618-7631, [email protected] or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.