Economics ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2023


The dissertation aims to analyze the economic and social consequences of unconventional oil and gas (UO&G) production in the Permian Basin, located in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. The first paper focuses on the effect of methane reduction regulations imposed by the United States (US) government on the production of natural gas and the drilling of new wells. Specifically, the question asked is “what is the impact of methane reduction regulations on the drilling of new wells and the production of natural gas over a 40-year time horizon?” I develop dynamic optimization in a system dynamic setting to assess the impacts. The simulations suggest that the methane regulations have a small effect (around 1% decline) on production and the number of wells drilled in the basin throughout the time horizon. Further, the total profit declines by 25% to 32%.

The second research article examines the impact of oil and natural gas tax revenues on the state of New Mexico’s expenditures on roads, education, and health infrastructure. Implementing a two-way fixed effect model with annual data from 2008 and 2018, I find that UO&G tax revenue does not impact road expenditures whereas health services see about a 1.9% increase in expenditure. For education, the UO&G tax revenue increases its expenditure by 1.8%.

The third paper investigates the effect of UO&G activities on road accidents in the New Mexico portion of the Permian Basin. Using monthly spatial data on crashes and well activity in the basin obtained from various government agencies, a Poisson model with fixed effects is employed to study the effect. The findings suggest that while the completion and production periods do not significantly impact accident rates, the drilling stage of well development increases the accident rate by 3%.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Janie Chermak

Second Committee Member

Dr. Kira Villa

Third Committee Member

Dr. Xiaoyang Wang

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Bruce Thomson




oil and gas, Permian Basin, New Mexico

Document Type


Available for download on Friday, August 01, 2025

Included in

Economics Commons