Powder River Basin News Pulse March 2023

Posted: April 20, 2023

The Powder River Basin | March 2023

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 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 (+2)
Total Rigs in the United States- 748 (-1)
Total U.S. Rigs 7.8% YTD

State Permitting Data
Permits Approved – 34

Powder River Top Producer

Top Producer – EOG

Basin Highlights

Feds Seek Public Input on Pending Oil and Gas Lease Sales

After a tumultuous season of start-and-stop lease sales in Wyoming, a number of federal parcels will be again up for auction. Minimum bid amounts, minimum rentals, and minimum royalties have all been increased by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Critics of the latest lease sale point to local sage grouse and big-game habitat concerns, saying that the latest bid round will cover lands heavily populated with sensitive fauna. The BLM tentatively plans to offer up 371 parcels spanning just shy of 400,000 acres.

EOG Resources Trumpets Optimistic Outlook for Natural Gas Oil Volumes

EOG, which posted phenomenal Q4 and 2022 year-end results, cited strong natural gas prices and steady operations as reasons for an exceptional year. Average natural gas prices were 49% higher than the previous year and crude was 42% higher. EOG’s natural gas production increased 4%. EOG is one of the leading producers in the Powder River Basin and has commented on its ambitions for a higher production footprint in the basin.

Gasfield Driller May Fail to Reach Deadline ‘To Be Successful’

Aethon Energy, operator of the 327,645-acre Moneta Divide coalbed methane field, is seeking permits for a new wastewater injection system that will allow for the continued development of the field. The EPA has held up the permit approval process–in the eyes of Representative Lloyd Larsent of Lander, Wyoming–unduly. Critics of the Marlin Well wastewater disposal system say that the well disposes into the Amsden and Madison formations which are both known to have potable water.

Most Permit Approvals by Operator

3Ballard Petroleum5
5Oil Digger Resources Fund3

Top Producers – Oil

RankCompanyFebruary Oil Production (MBO)
1Anschutz Corp858
4Continental Resources573
5Crescent Energy Company423

Top Producers – Gas

RankCompanyJanuary Gas Production (MMCF)
2Carbon Creek Energy5,256
4Continental Resources2,286

Rig Count

Wyoming Oil Production

Wyoming Gas Production

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