tight oil: supplying energy demand

Chevron and its legacy companies have been a fixture in the Permian Basin, located in the southwestern United States, since the early 1920s. In 2011, Chevron produced its 5 billionth barrel from the Permian. Today, we are among the largest producers of oil and natural gas in the basin, and with approximately 2 million net acres of resources, Chevron is the Permian Basin’s largest net acreage holder.

The Permian Basin is approximately 250 miles (400 km) wide and 300 (480 km) miles long, across West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. It encompasses several sub-basins, including the Central Basin Platform, Delaware Basin and Midland Basin.

Enhanced oil recovery techniques have major application in the Permian, first with water flooding and then with carbon dioxide injection. The Permian is delivering transformational production growth as we apply advanced technologies and build drilling efficiencies to enable greater success in fueling America’s energy needs

The Permian Basin’s geology is unique because it contains multiple stacked plays, which means one well can produce oil and natural gas from several layers of rock from different geological zones. This multiplies the basin’s oil and natural gas resource potential.

what chevron is doing


Chevron's longtime commitment to the Permian region has resulted in a strong portfolio for future development.

Today in the Permian Basin, Chevron is targeting stacked plays above and below the rock layers from which we have been producing for decades. Application of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing has made it possible to economically develop these previously inaccessible resources. The stacked plays enable efficient development and production from multiple zones. They also allow for multiple wells from a single pad location using our shared infrastructure.

Chevron's production from the Permian Basin is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

comparing natural gas from shale and
tight oil

There are many similarities between developing the tight oil found in the Permian Basin and developing natural gas from shale. Both use the same drilling and completion processes, though tight oil, or liquid-rich gas, typically uses more surface equipment and processing infrastructure.

Tight oil plays have very thick producing zones, but are traditionally developed by vertical wells. However, Chevron and the industry are seeking to improve the production rate and recovery in tight oil plays with the use of horizontal wells. Learn more about developing natural gas from shale.

Updated: March 2016