The Powder River Basin | August 2023
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 Gillette 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, historically known as the source of the basin’s oil.
State Drilling Statistics
Total Rigs in Wyoming- 20 (-)
Total Rigs in the United States- 630 (-2)
Total U.S. Rigs 17.5% YTD
State Permitting Data
Permits Approved (10/1/2022 to 4/30/2023) – 279
Powder River Top Producer
Top Producer – EOG
According to a recent press release, Northwoods Management Co. and some related entities in the Powder River Basin have been fully acquired by OneRock Energy Holdings LLC. The assets and land, which cover 160,000 net acres across Converse, Campbell, and Johnson counties in Wyoming and produce an average of 5,000 boe/d, are mostly contained in contiguous leaseholds. The deal was first revealed in June by Pan Management’s investment arm, OneRock, a private equity firm. With support from Apollo, Northwoods acquired more than 112,000 acres in the Powder River Basin in 2018 by paying $500 million to SM Energy Co.
Occidental Petroleum increased its full-year production forecast by 1%, but due to a decline in oil and gas prices, it missed second-quarter profit expectations and had to take a writedown to close some operations. The company increased its full-year production guidance by 1% to between 1.19 million boepd and 1.24 million boepd from a midpoint of 1.195 million as a result of the quarter’s better-than-expected output. Additionally, Occidental announced that it would forgo further exploration in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and recorded an impairment charge for the properties totaling $164 million after taxes.
Oil companies are having trouble hiring enough petroleum engineers, and universities are graduating fewer petroleum engineers than ever despite the attractive salaries they offer.
The University of Wyoming awarded Linnae Lueken, a research fellow with the Heartland Institute, a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering. She told Cowboy State Daily that a significant portion of the issue is due to the policies of the Biden administration, the information that children are taught about fossil fuels in public school settings, and the media. But, according to Lueken, the oil firms and trade groups are also at fault. They largely submit and take it instead of standing up to those who demonize them.
Most Permit Approvals by Operator
|3||Navigation Powder River||4|
|5||1876 Resources LLC||2|
Top Producers – Oil
|Rank||Company||Monthly Oil Production (MBO)|
|5||Crescent Energy Company||453|
Top Producers – Gas
|Rank||Company||Monthly Gas Production (MMCF)|
|3||Carbon Creek Energy||4,688|
Wyoming Oil Production
Wyoming Gas Production
Click above to subscribe to the RARE
PETRO Podcast Network or visit
The information contained in this newsletter is provided by RARE
PETRO Engineering, PLLC via the following sources unless otherwise
RARE Petro Analytics