The Powder River Basin | August 2022
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 hydraulic 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
Total Rigs in Wyoming- 20 (-)
Total Rigs in United States – 759 (-3)
Total U.S. Rigs 51% YTD
State Permitting Data
Permits Filed – 260
Powder River Top Producer
Top Producer by Oil – EOG
Top Producer by Gas – EOG
Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (COPL) has confirmed the discovery of a 993.5 billion barrel field in Converse and Natrona Counties, Wyoming. This is one of the largest conventional light oil discoveries in North America in decades. COPL operates four fields and 48,000 contiguous leasehold acres in Converse and Natrona Counties in the southwestern portion of the Powder River Basin. The discovery, made in January 2022, and reserves estimations, have been confirmed after undergoing a series of tests established by Canadian regulatory bodies concerning the booking of oil and gas reserves.
Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico have formed a coalition to develop all forms of energy–renewable and conventional. These intermountain states are, according to Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon “uniquely qualified” to be on the leading edge of the energy evolution as they have “a sophisticated oil and gas industry” and they have a “presence of high-quality wind, solar, biomass, and other energy resources.” A “Request for Expression of Interest” has been published in order to seek stakeholder engagement and input.
Former Vice President spoke at the Rockies Petroleum Conference on August 18, 2022. In his address, Pence indicated that if certain tax barriers were done away with, it would “unleash the power of this country and unleash energy.” Pence made mention of the “virtually limitless supply of energy right under our feet,” referring to the abundant coal, oil, and natural gas in the Powder River Basin. Pence also made reference to ongoing efforts by his peers in the Republican Party to help encourage and incentivize oil and gas production in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Interior, in a 50-page letter, pushed back against a complaint filed by several environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians. These groups claimed that the approval of more than 3,500 drilling permits on federal lands (mostly in Wyoming and New Mexico) “failed to account for greenhouse gas impacts on climate change.” The U.S. Department of Interior called such claims “vague and ambitious” and therefore signed the applications for drilling permits.
Most Permit Applications by Operator
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Top Producers Oil
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Top Producers Gas
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Wyoming Oil Production
Wyoming Gas Production
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