Report: Wyoming oil and gas outlook up to 2022 positive

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According to a recent report from the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS), Wyoming’s energy industry appears to be recovering from the 2020 downturn sooner than expected.

Oil production reportedly improved 31 percent, with production coming on stream from both newly drilled and existing wells completed under the Wyoming Energy Rebound program, the report said, boosting the state’s economic outlook improved after a severe energy slump in 2020.

according to dr Erin Campbell, State Geologist and WSGSS Director, as of today, Wyoming’s oil and gas industry is on track for further improvements through 2022.

“Production increased incrementally in 2021 due to price volatility and demand uncertainty,” Campbell said in a statement. “But recent forward-looking projects have improved the outlook for Wyoming’s oil and gas industry into 2022 and beyond.”

Despite Wyoming’s landlocked location and distance from shipping ports, international players are hurting Wyoming’s oil as global production fails to keep up with recovering demand, causing oil prices to rise significantly in 2021, the report said .

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In 2021, the price per barrel of oil rose from an average of $52 in January to $72 in December, with oil prices hitting a seven-year high.

Higher prices, the report continued, led to an increase in the number of operating rigs. As of Jan. 11, the number of rigs operating in the state continued to increase, with 18 operating at the end of 2021, according to the report.

Emissions control also came into play as several oil and gas companies took them to the next level in terms of carbon emissions control. A company, Jonah Energy, which operates the Jonah gas field outside of Pinedale, was reportedly the first to report its emissions control data to the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, earning the company a Gold Standard emissions rating, according to the report.

Jonah’s efforts are being followed by other gas producers in the state to curb their carbon emissions, with Wyoming uniquely poised with the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) in Gillette and the US to be in the future of carbon capture and storage ( CCUS) to be a leader in the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative (WPCI).

The latter was approved by the Wyoming legislature, which first provided funding for the initiative in 2012, with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) designating more than 1,100 miles of state land throughout Wyoming as corridors for potential new pipelines, according to WSGS.

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Pipeline infrastructure plays a critical role in connecting oil and gas producers to markets, processing plants and refineries, according to the report, which says several new pipeline projects in Wyoming stretch from the Cowboy State to Montana, Idaho and Colorado.

The WPCI is expected to optimize future pipeline construction schedules through designated WSGS corridors, adding that the initiative should help the oil and gas industry take advantage of these new connections to ship product in and out of Wyoming.

Both the ITC and WPCI give the state the opportunity to take a leadership role in capturing CO2 from industrial plants through geological carbon sequestration and finding beneficial uses of carbon dioxide in improved oil recovery, the report said.

According to the report, Wyoming is currently one of two states with a regulatory program for injecting CO2 into deep geologic formations.

Existing infrastructure, extensive resources, strong industrial ties and pioneering innovations should ensure Wyoming’s oil and gas industry remains at the forefront of US energy production, according to the WSGS.

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