Powder River Basin News Pulse November 2022

Posted: December 15, 2022

The Powder River Basin | November 2022

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, 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

Basin Highlights

Environmental Activist Groups Move to Block Wyoming Oil and Gas Leases Yet Again

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.

Oil. Natural Gas Permitting Tick Up in Rockies as Permian, Marcellus Dip

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.

Wyoming is the Second Top Producing Energy State on Federal Land

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.

Advocates Urge DOI and BLM: Protect Taxpayers and Fix the Broken Oil and Gas Bonding System

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 Resources6
1 (Tied)EOG6
2Anschutz Exploration5
3Three Crown Petroleum2
4 (Tied)Devon1

Top Producers – Oil

RankCompanyNovember Oil Production (MBO)
1Continental Resources944
3Anshutz Corp747

Top Producers – Gas

RankCompanyNovember Gas Production (MMCF)
2Carbon Creek Energy5,281
4Continental Resources3,384

Rig Count

Wyoming Oil Production

Wyoming Gas Production

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