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The Permian Basin is a sedimentary basin largely contained in the western part of the U.S. state of Texas and the southeastern part of the state of New Mexico. It reaches from just south of Lubbock, Texas, to just south of Midland and Odessa, extending westward into the southeastern part of the adjacent state of New Mexico. It is so named because it has one of the world's thickest deposits of rocks from the Permian geologic period. The greater Permian Basin comprises several component basins: of these, Midland Basin is the largest, Delaware Basin is the second largest, and Marfa Basin is the smallest. The Permian Basin extends beneath an area approximately 250 miles (400 km) wide and 300 miles (480 km) long.
The Permian Basin gives its name to a large oil and natural gas producing area, part of the Mid-Continent Oil Producing Area. Total production for that region up to the beginning of 1993 was over 14.9 billion barrels (2.37×109 m3). The towns of Midland and Odessa serve as the headquarters for oil production activities in the basin.
The Permian Basin is also a major source of potassium salts (potash), which are mined from bedded deposits of sylvite and langbeinite in the Salado Formation of Permian age. Sylvite was discovered in drill cores in 1925, and production began in 1931. The mines are located in Lea and Eddy counties, New Mexico, and are operated by the room and pillar method. Halite (rock salt) is produced as a byproduct of potash mining.
The Horseshoe Atoll is a westward-tilting arcuate chain of reef mounds 282 km long located in the Midland Basin, consisting of 549 m of limestone accumulated in the Pennsylvanian and 335 m in the Permian, with 15 significant reservoirs from 1859 m to 3018 m in depth. The reef complex consists of Upper Pennsylvanian Strawn, Canyon and Cisco limestones, overlain by Lower Permian Wolfcamp sandstones and shales of terrigenous origin prograding northeast to southwest. The first production well, Seabird Oil Company of Delaware No. 1-B J.C. Caldwelll in 1948.
Due to its economic significance, the Permian Basin has also given its name to the geographic region in which it lies. The counties of this region include:
As of the 2008/2009 census estimates the Permian Basin had a population of 522,568.
Other counties sometimes considered part of the Permian Basin are:
If one includes those counties the population of the Permian Basin comes to 577,667.
Active Permian Basin pumpjack east of Andrews, TX
Texas State Historical Association article