Basin posts 23 of top 100 oil companies

Mewbourne, Endeavor lead area list of private operators

A pumpjack operates just outside of the Odessa Ector Power Partners natural gas power plant Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Odessa, Texas. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

The Permian Basin just put 23 private oil and natural gas companies in Enverus Intelligence Research’s 100 top producing American companies and the region has 10 in the top 50.

With rankings based on 2022 work, the Calgary, Alberta, Canada, analytics firm said its top 100 were from the Lower 48 states and the Gulf of Mexico, which Permian Basin Petroleum Association Executive Vice President Stephen Robertson said was in line with the area tradition of private companies playing a prominent role.

The Basin’s highest ranking firm is Mewbourne Oil at No. 3 with daily production of 340,058 barrels of oil and 815,246 thousand cubic feet of gas.

Mewbourne was running 21 drilling rigs and 3,004 wells on March 23 this year, Enverus said.

“In their 100-plus-year history, independent operators and oil and gas exploration companies have routinely been responsible for growth and planning in the Permian Basin,” Robertson said.

“While that continues to be the case today, it all started with the efforts of operators like L.W. Sandusky and P.C. Coleman, who discovered the Westbrook Field, the first commercially productive field in the Permian Basin, in Mitchell County back in 1921, and Frank Pickrell, who helped spud the most famous well in the Basin, the Santa Rita No. 1, in 1923 in Reagan County.”

Mitchell County, whose county seat is Colorado City, is about 100 miles east-northeast of Odessa, and Reagan County, whose county seat is Big Lake, is about 90 miles southeast of here.

“Coming forward to the 21st century, during the exponential growth we have experienced in the last decade and a half, where oil production has grown from less than one million barrels a day to over five million, independent, privately held enterprises have continued the trend of being front and center, pushing innovation and production growth,” Robertson said.

“Throughout the ups and downs of oil and gas operations in the Basin, independent operators have often been the first to risk when, or even before, an upturn began and the last to leave during a downturn.”

While other regions began shale exploration by utilizing hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to develop previously known but unrecoverable reserves, Robertson said, “The revolution was cemented and ushered in in an era of energy independence in the United States because of operations in the Permian Basin.

“With the Basin now producing over 45 percent of the United States’ oil and nearly 20 percent of the country’s natural gas, operations here, whether from publicly traded companies or independent operators, are of incredible importance for more than just the economic benefit of those companies, this region or even the states of Texas and New Mexico,” he said.

Endeavor Energy ranked No. 5 with 279,764 b/d of oil and 515,319 cf/d of gas, 3,481 wells and 14 rigs.

Nos. 12 and 17 are CrownQuest Operating and Tap Rock Resources with 149,185 and 111,992 b/d, 325,690 and 248,746 cf/d, 1,409 and 327 wells and five and four rigs, respectively.

Nos. 22 and 35 are Birch Operations and Surge Operating with 100,872 and 73,981 b/d, 170,570 and 129,191 cf/d, 498 and 811 wells and two rigs each, respectively.

Nos. 39 and 41 are BTA Oil Producers and Blackbeard Operating with 71,807 and 65,608 b/d, 170,882 and 257,576 cf/d, 442 and 2,653 wells and three and two rigs, respectively.

Nos. 43 and 47 are Lime Rock Resources and Fasken Oil & Ranch with 50,617 and 44,347 b/d, 118,426 and 92,152 cf/d, 1,308 and 1,270 wells and two rigs each, respectively.

Others are Vencer Energy, No. 54; Novo Oil & Gas, 56; Spur Energy Partners, 57; Sequitur Energy., 58; the GBK Corp., 59; Hibernia Resources, 62; Summit Petroleum, 67; Advance Energy Partners, 71; Franklin Mountain Energy, 73; Legacy Resources, 74; PRI Operating, 76; Discovery Natural Resources, 83; Henry Resources, 84; Zarvona Energy, 87; and Steward Energy, 90.

Robertson said Basin operations “provide energy security for our nation and are a key to improving the environmental impact of energy generation while helping to lift millions around the world out of poverty.”