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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 560

Last Page: 560

Title: Perspectives of Energy Development in New Mexico: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Philip R. Grant, Jr.

Article Type: Meeting abstract


New Mexico ranks fourth in the nation in natural gas and natural gas liquids production. It is seventh in crude oil and lease condensate extraction, has 55% of the country's uranium, and ranks first in providing this crucial energy fuel. Over 120 billion tons of coal lie between the surface and 3,000 ft (915 m) in northern New Mexico with 3 to 6 billion tons of low-sulfur coal accessible for relatively inexpensive strip mining. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Valles Caldera of the Jemez Mountains alone contains geothermal fluids capable of sustaining 2,700 Mw of electrical generating capacity for 30 years. Solar insolation in southern New Mexico is within 10% of the maximum received anywhere in the world.

Energy in all its forms will be the major force in New Mexico's economic future. More than half of the state's gross product is now derived from energy-oriented activities. It is not unreasonable to expect that, just as a century or so ago major communities and industrial enterprises developed around transportation corridors of rivers and railroads, the new commerce of the next decades will locate where assured energy supplies exist. Massive service, social, financial, and environmental burdens and impacts must be addressed by industry, government, and citizens if the state is to provide orderly, stable, and beneficial development, to avoid the potential misfortunes of "boom and bust" cycles, and to preserve its unique environment and life style.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists