The San Juan Basin is part of the technology revolution in drilling shale formations for natural gas and oil. An American technology innovation developed inside the private oil and gas industry combined hydraulic stimulation with horizontal drilling early in the last decade. After vertical well hydraulic stimulation failed to produce, the horizontals were connected. This combination, now changing energy recovery and consumption worldwide, makes possible the Mancos breakthrough.
The San Juan Basin, at the town of Aztec, was the second largest source of gas in the nation after discovery in 1921. By 1960, along with the Paradox Basin as part of the ”Four Corners,” reached estimated ultimate recovery of 500 million barrels of oil.