British oil major BP has made a major gas discovery in the Mancos shale formation of the San Juan Basin in New Mexico near the Colorado border.

Having brought the highly productive natural gas well online, BP said that the discovery showcases the potential of the New Mexico field as a significant new source of natural gas supply in the US.

Initial production rates at the San Juan County-located NEBU 602 Com 1H well are the highest recorded within the San Juan Basin in the last 14 years, stated BP.

The well had registered an average 30-day initial production rate of 12.9 million cubic feet per day.

BP US Lower 48 onshore business CEO Dave Lawler said: “This result supports our strategic view that significant resource potential exists in the San Juan Basin, and gives us confidence to pursue additional development of the Mancos Shale, which we believe could become one of the leading shale plays in the U.S.”

By using a 10,000-foot lateral, the NEBU 602 Com 1H well was drilled in an area called as Northeast Blanco Unit (NEBU). BP has been engaged in this section of government lands in the San Juan and Rio Arriba counties of New Mexico since the 1920s.

According to BP, the well test took place on the assets acquired by its US Lower 48 onshore business in late 2015 from Devon Energy. The acquisition had expanded BP’s position in the San Juan Basin while helping it with greater access to the Mancos Shale.

BP’s acquisition during that time had consisted mainly of Devon’s operated stake in NEBU, which included 480 wells spread over 33,000 gross acres.

Image: BP finds major success in the Mancos shale gas field in the San Juan Basin. Photo: courtesy of BP.