Powder River Basin News Pulse May 2021

Posted: June 15, 2021

The Powder River Basin | May 2021

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 (End of May)

Total Rigs in Wyoming- 4
Total Rigs in United States- 457
Total U.S. Rigs up 52% YTD

State Permitting Data (End of May)
Permits Approved – 25

State Top Producers

Top Oil Producer – EOG Resources
Top Gas Producer – Carbon Creek

Basin Highlights

Gordon Files Motion for Preliminary Injunction Against Drilling Moratorium

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has been vocal about his opposition to the Biden administration’s drilling moratorium, and has finally filed for a preliminary injunction for a lawsuit. The filing includes a number of requests from Gordon. The first asks the Federal District Court of Wyoming for an injunction that orders the Secretary to hold quarterly oil and gas lease sales in Wyoming, as they have already missed the sale for Q1. It also demands the Secretary to hold the March and June 2021 Wyoming lease sales as soon as reasonably possible. The rest of the lawsuit claims the executive order that suspended drilling violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act and the Federal Land Policy Management Act. So far the Biden Administration has not released any word on progress in reviewing leasing policy that initially prompted the moratorium.

Article Link

A Budget Blessing in Disguise

It is no secret that Wyoming’s state budget took a hit in 2020, and Biden’s drilling moratorium certainly did not help. Since January of this year, 188 oil and gas wells have been approved and 80% of them have been on federal land. Still, between 2014 and 2019, there were 9,950 approved but unused permits to drill on federal land. Dave Jenkins, the president of the Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship said that the moratorium gives congress time to review and revamp pricing that is, in his opinion, outdated. “They’re buying it on the cheap when we should be getting higher prices…today’s economy is different, and we get a lot more value out of recreation and tourism, which brings people to the states to spend money and drive economic activity.” While Wyoming has made lots of money from oil and gas activity, Jenkins is right in claiming that there are more industries to diversify into. Such a heavy reliance on fossil fuel production really hurt the state’s economy. It seems that the Biden administration is ready to do away with as much fossil fuels as possible, and Wyoming will certainly feel the impacts.

Article Link

Operators With Most Permits (May)

2North Silo Resources6
3Emre Oil2
Hyperlinks to available Q1 2021 Reports

Top Oil Producers (2021 cum) —————————_—-Top Gas Producers (2021 cum)

1EOG Resources1Carbon Creek
2Devon2EOG Resources
4Anschutz Exploration4Devon
5FDL Operating5Peak Power River
Hyperlinks to available Q1 2021 Reports

Rig Count

Wyoming Oil Production

Wyoming Gas Production

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