Powder River Basin News Pulse March 2020

By sali
Posted: April 13, 2020

The Powder River Basin| March 2020

Field Overview

The Powder River Basin, known for its coal deposits, is located in Southeast Montana and Northeast Wyoming. The basin is named so because it is drained by the Powder River. Major cities in the area include Gillete and Sheridan, Wyoming and Miles City, Montana. There is a recent resurgence in oil and gas production as a result of horizontal drilling and hydraullic fracturing. This resurgence is occurring mainly in the Wyoming part of the basin, which is historically known as the source of the basin’s oil.

State Drilling Statistics

Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 19
Total Rigs in Wyoming- 24
Total Rigs in United States- 664
Total U.S. Rigs down 35.2% YTD

State Top Producers

Top Gas Producer- Carbon Creek
Top Oil Producer- EOG

Financial & Economic Updates

Oil and gas commission gives tax break to Wyoming operators

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced Tuesday it will not require producers to pay the state conservation tax for the next six months in response to depressed market conditions. The governor and state commissioners voted unanimously during a special meeting held Tuesday to reduce the assessed value of the conservation tax to zero. In other words, the commission will not charge oil and gas producers the conservation tax for six months beginning Wednesday. The conservation tax is now set at .0005, or five-tenths, of a mill. A mill levy is equivalent to the number of dollars an oil and gas producer must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value of production. Funds collected from the tax go toward the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission‘s budget. Wyoming statute allows the commission to “reduce or increase the amount as the expenses chargeable may require.” “The change in the conservation tax will not require the WOGCC to look to other funds,” Kimberly Mazza, a spokeswoman for the commission, told the Star-Tribune.

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State Highlights

Wyoming looks to buy millions of acres of mineral rights

Wyoming could become one of Utah’s largest mineral holders under a massive land deal the Cowboy State is exploring with a leading Western energy producer. Gov. Mark Gordon is looking to buy at least 4 million acres of mineral rights and 1 million surface acres along Interstate 80 across southern Wyoming and into northern Utah, land the debt-burdened Occidental Petroleum Corp. acquired last year when it merged with Anadarko Petroleum, Utah’s largest natural gas producer. Occidental has little appetite for developing these lands, but Wyoming’s Republican governor envisions a productive future for them if his state acquires them for “multiple use,” according to an explanation his office posted this week. “The State sees it as a rare opportunity to acquire minerals, recreation, and other types of assets in Wyoming,” the message states. “These natural resources could be developed by private companies, not the State, and provide additional revenues to the State.”

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Wyoming firm contributing generators to find cure for coronavirus

A pair of energy companies with roots in Wyoming have donated several natural gas generators and computing modules to researchers searching for a cure to the novel coronavirus. Casper-based Mesa Natural Gas Solutions contributed natural gas generators and Crusoe Energy Systems provided computing modules to help power research led by Folding Home Consortium, launched by Stanford University. The various simulation processes that test out possible vaccines and therapies to fight the virus require significant amounts of electricity. Scientists have tapped into Crusoe’s computational systems powered by Mesa’s natural gas generators in order to continue researching the virus remotely and conduct protein-folding simulation projects, according to the companies. 

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Top Gas Producers

(MMscf / Month)
1Carbon Creek71,644,263

Top Oil Producers

4FDL Operating3,349,936
5Peak Power Resources2,885,294


Wyoming Gas Production

Wyoming Oil Production

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