Petroleum and Natural Gas Potential of the Paradox Basin of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico

The Paradox Basin is located in the four-corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.  The U.S. Geological Survey has just completed a study assessing the potential for oil and gas discovery.  They conclude that the area has potential for “560 million barrels of undiscovered oil, 12,701 billion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas, and 490 million barrels of undiscovered  natural gas liquids…”  Read the report here (2.6 Mb).

There is also potential for oil and gas in the Holbrook Basin farther south in Arizona.  This has yet not been assessed. The Holbrook Basin does, however, contain a large resource of potash (potassium ore) that is being developed.  See: Arizona may become a major producer of potash.




  1. Just for a little perspective: that’s less than a one month supply of oil for the U.S., six days for the world. (CIA Factsheet). JP

    1. And it would be that much less we would have to pay OPEC.  And we would have the jobs.  Every little piece of domestic production adds up.  

  2. John Parsons: Though quite correct in your estimate, I suspect that you are neither geologist nor energy expert;  otherwise, you would know that USGS mineral resource estimates are often  conservative and restrictive; but with exploration and new technologies come new and sometimes major discoveries.  For example, the Bakken shale  discovery in the Williston basin of North Dakota was once written off as low potential-producer, but today is a major domestic source of petroleum.  Your comment history suggests a philosophy of scarcity and depletionism,  whereby the glass is half empty, which won’t get us anywhere in becoming energy dependent.

    1. 4RH3, I simply presented the mathematical facts. You can read into that anything you wish. A fair reading of my “comment history” would reveal that the least of my concerns is a shortage of CO2 precursors.   JP

      1. My point, Mr. Parsons, regarding your commenting history  is that climate activism and resource alarmism are one and the same,  restricting the availability of efficient energy fuels through taxation and contrived shortages;  therefore-depletionist.  You are a contradiction.

  3. The ONLY way to stop paying for foreign oil is with cars that don’t burn it. More battery and natural gas vehicles IS the answer.

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