New Mexico, which shares a prolific slice of the Permian Basin with Texas, in March produced the most natural gas and oil production on record, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

Oil output averaged 1.16 million b/d in March, while gas production climbed to 6.19 Bcf/d, EIA researchers led by Emily Geary noted.  The increases came one month after the South Central region of the country was slammed by Winter Storm Uri, forcing many producers working in the Permian fields of New Mexico and Texas to shut in wells.

“New Mexico’s increased production in March was a result of both new wells coming online for the first time and existing wells coming back online after being shut in during the cold snap,” EIA noted.

Oil production increased from February by 17%, up 172,000 b/d to 1.155 million b/d. Natural gas production rose 12% month/month, or by 0.65 Bcf/d, from 5.54 Bcf/d.

“New Mexico’s rise in crude oil and natural gas production in 2021 follows record production for both fuels in 2020,” researchers said. The state previously surpassed its record for monthly oil production last November. It had set a record for gas production last October.

Last year oil output overall rose by 15% from 2019 in New Mexico, up 133,000 b/d to record annual production of 1.04 million b/d. Gas output also set a new annual record of 5.60 Bcf/d in 2020.

Gas production from the Permian accounted for most of New Mexico’s output growth last year, researchers noted.

In the spring of 2020, as Covid-19’s impact on travel and operations reduced oil and gas demand, commodity prices fell sharply. Producers through mid-year reduced activity by shutting in wells and limiting the number of wells brought online. 

“However, operators in New Mexico in the second half of 2020 resumed new well completion despite the low prices,” EIA’s researchers noted. 

According to Baker Hughes Co., New Mexico picked up two rigs for the week ending last Friday (June 11). The state also had a 13% increase in oil and gas permitting activity for May, Evercore ISI reported. 

Oil and gas production increased in the United States overall during March to 11.18 million b/d oil and 112.68 Bcf/d gas, EIA noted. During March other parts of the United States also saw production climb, including from the Gulf of Mexico, Oklahoma and in Texas.