Executives from some of the nation's biggest oil and gas companies say the next big oil boom could take place in northwestern New Mexico.
The executives are in Farmington for a conference to discuss the potential for a previously untapped section of the San Juan Basin known as the Mancos shale.
Former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici says about 1.8 billion barrels of oil could be recovered from New Mexico reservoirs in the Mancos shale, which also extends into Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
The Albuquerque Journal reports says the successful extraction of oil and wet natural gas in the basin would bring relief to San Juan County.
The county remains mired in recession because of extremely low prices for the dry natural gas that has characterized most production in the area.