The Powder River Basin | November 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 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, which is historically known as the source of the basin’s oil.
State Drilling Statistics
Total Rigs in Wyoming- 21 (-3)
Total Rigs in United States- 776 (+7)
Total U.S. Rigs 34% YTD
State Permitting Data
Permits Approved – 22
Powder River Top Producer
Top Producer – Continental Resources
The WildEarth Guardians have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior petitioning for the comment period on a new round of federal leasing to be extended to 45 days. Concerns about the perceived climate crisis were cited in the letter. Despite the fact that the Biden Administration has overseen the lease leasing of acreage since any president since World War II, many protesters have taken particular exception to recent leasing rounds. This latest round, announced in October, includes 209 parcels of land totalling 251,086 acres.
In October, permitting slowed precipitously in many of the major powerhouse basins (Eagle Ford, Permian, and Marcellus). The Powder River Basin saw an increase of +87 permits month over month and the DJ/Niobrara saw a +70 increase in permitting month over month. Devon Energy and EOG Resources were the major drivers in the permitting increase in the Powder River Basin. Wyoming, Colorado, and California were among the only states that saw an increase in permitting in October.
The U.S. Department of Interior announces that $20 billion has been generated from federal leasing royalties during 2022. Wyoming received $1.6 billion, an increase of $600 million from 2021. New Mexico, with a large amount of federal land in the Permian Basin, has brought in $6 billion during 2022. Wind energy leasing brought in $4.6 billion this year compared to $5.1 million last year, an increase of three orders of magnitude. With several wind energy projects underway in Wyoming, it is likely that wind energy revenues will constitute a larger share of federal royalty revenues.
The Western Organization of Resource Councils, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and the Natural Resources Defense Council submitted a petition to the US Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management to update bonding rates for federal leases (which have not been updated in 71 years). Petitioners are advocating for full cost bonds, surface reclamation bonds, the elimination of blanket bonds, and several other measures. Wyoming has a large proportion of federal leases.
Most Permit Approvals by Operator
|1 (Tied)||Continental Resources||6|
|3||Three Crown Petroleum||2|
Top Producers – Oil
|Rank||Company||November Oil Production (MBO)|
Top Producers – Gas
|Rank||Company||November Gas Production (MMCF)|
|2||Carbon Creek Energy||5,281|
Wyoming Oil Production
Wyoming Gas Production
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