The play consists of several component basins, including the Midland, Delaware, and Marfa basins. It is a collection of regional conventional and unconventional plays, producing from a variety of geological formations, and from depths of a few hundred feet to five miles below surface.
It was been estimated that the Permian has produced over 29 barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of gas, and still contains recoverable oil and natural gas in excees of what has been produced over the past 90 years. Drilling activity in the Permian Basin has weathered the recent downturn in the market better than most. At one point in the downturn, two-thirds of active U.S. drilling was limited to 20 counties, 10 of which were in the Permian. Its production economics are better than most other oil-driven regions as the Permian’s unique stacked play geology allows high efficiency gains and well productivity, pushing per barrel costs to relatively low levels.