5 Fun Facts About the Permian Basin

The Permian Basin is not only rich with petroleum and natural gas deposits; it’s rich in history, too. Here are five facts about the Permian Basin you might not know. 

1. The Name 

The Permian Basin gets its name from the Permian geologic period which began 299 million to 251 million years ago. This time period is best known for its dramatic ending, when an asteroid struck Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs! Over millions of years, those extinct dinosaurs transformed into what we now call fossil fuels. 

Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica

2. Everything’s Bigger in Texas

We know that the Permian Basin covers most of West Texas and parts of Southeastern New Mexico - but did you know that it’s actually more than 86,000 square miles? In total, it’s close to 250 miles wide and 300 miles long. Just to give you an idea, that’s about the size of the entire state of North Dakota!

3. Lucky Strike

In 1923, the Santa Rita No. 1 struck major oil in the Permian on land leased from The University of Texas. So how did the first rig to strike oil in the Permian get its name? Turns out the rig was named after Saint Rita of Cascia - the patron saint of impossible causes. Proving to be far from an impossible cause, today the Santa Rita No. 1 rests on The University of Texas campus.

Source: Texas State Historical Association

4. History of Victory

Patriotism runs deep in the Permian. During World War II, the Permian had its share of responsibility in contributing to the winning war efforts of the Allied Forces. Wrap your head around this fact: About half of the world’s oil and gas production at the time came from the Permian! This supply helped in fueling the tanks, ships, and planes the Allied Forces used to ultimately win the war.

 Source: Drilling & Geophysics Society of Dallas

5. The Permian Today

Nationwide, the total oil rig count has risen to 883. Did you know more than half of those rigs are located in the Permian? If you stacked all the oil rigs in the Permian on top of each other, they would stretch almost 6 miles into the Texas sky!

Source: Baker Hughes Rig Count Data

Impress your friends and coworkers with these five surprising facts about the Permian.

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