Wyoming Oil and Gas Production Returns to Pre-Pandemic Trends
Written by Caleb Nelson on January 12, 2023
The latest summary report by the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) offers a brief synopsis of the state’s oil and natural gas industry in the last 12 months. Highlights include the return of oil and gas production to pre-pandemic trends, the resumption of oil and gas lease sales by the Bureau of Land Management, and an increase in the drilling and completion of oil and gas wells.
The report finds that 2022 was a “return to normal” for Wyoming’s oil and gas industry. Crude oil and natural gas production returned to their pre-pandemic trends and year-over-year gain in oil volumes with a gradual decline in natural gas production.
Also in 2022,the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) resumed sales of oil and gas leases, and a substantial number of new oil and gas wells were drilled and completed (particularly in the Powder River Basin).
More than 100 oil or gas wells were completed in Wyoming in the first half of 2022. In Wyoming, state and local government tax revenue depends “partly on what is happening in the oil and gas industry,” the report states.
Their analysis suggests that even though oil and natural gas prices were high in 2022, the global energy market has been unable to find a stable footing.
“Despite volatile market conditions, overall, it was a positive year for the oil and gas industry in Wyoming,” says WSGS Director and Wyoming State Geologist, Dr. Erin Campbell.
The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) last fall predicted 90 million barrels of crude oil would be produced in Wyoming in 2022. As the final data from last year trickle in, Wyoming appears on track to meet that forecast. More than half of the state’s total oil production will come from Converse and Campbell counties in the prolific Powder River Basin.
“Wyoming’s oil production has doubled in the past 10 years, mostly due to operations in Converse and Campbell counties,” says WSGS geologist Derek Lichtner. “New discoveries—and known reservoirs with new technologies—have transformed the industry’s activity in Wyoming in a relatively short time.”
Generally, natural gas production in various parts of Wyoming is either holding steady or on the decline, as has been the case since its peak in 2009. Sublette County’s gas fields continue to be the largest natural gas producers in the state, followed by Sweetwater and Fremont counties.
The report also touches on the volatility of the global energy market this past year, and the uncertainty this creates for the oil and gas industry going forward.
The oil and gas summary report is available as a free download here.