SANTA FE, NM (KWES) - New Mexico’s oil boom continues to reach new heights as recently-published data shows oil production reaching a record-high of 250 million barrels of oil in 2018.

The United States Energy Information Administration reports oil production climbed 46% from 2017 to 2018, surging 78 million barrels past the previous record of 171 million barrels set in 2017.

Ryan Flynn, executive director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, believes the state’s oil and natural continues gas industry is the economic backbone of New Mexico.

“Record energy production is not only good for jobs and the communities where we produce oil and natural gas, it means important funding for our public schools and the entire state budget while protecting our environment and natural resources,” said Flynn.

Flnn continued to say leaders in New Mexico should focus on finding ways to safely continue the growth that is helping turn New Mexico around.

New Mexico natural gas production is also on upswing, coming in at a ten-year high of 1,488,471 million cubic feet for 2018 marketed production.

New Mexico last passed that figure in 2007, but still lags behind the all-time high of 1,695,595 Million Cubic Feet produced in 2000.

New Mexico is the third-largest oil producer in the United States, having cemented the position with rapidly increasing production in the Permian Basin.

New Mexico oil producers are showing no signs of slowing down, having also reached a monthly production milestone of 25.3 million barrels of oil in December.

Earlier this month, oil producers Chevron and Exxon Mobil announced higher production forecasts for their assets across the New Mexico-Texas Permian Basin.

Exxon Mobil said it plans to produce the equivalent of 1 million barrels of oil per day in the basin as soon as 2024, while Chevron expects to produce 600,000 barrels per day in the Permian by the end of 2020 and 900,000 barrels a day by the end of 2023.

Increased production has led to rapid growth for communities in southeast New Mexico, but it is also having an impact around the state and in the state capitol.

The New Mexico Tax Research Institute reports that New Mexico’s general fund and public schools are benefiting from considerable increases in oil and natural gas taxes and revenues.

Total industry contributions to the state in Fiscal Year 2018 totaled $2.2 billion, including $822 million in funding for public schools and nearly $241 million for the state’s universities, colleges, and other higher education institutions.

Data and rankings are compiled and produced by the United States Energy Information Administration, an independent agency within the United States Department of Energy.