Oil and Gas employees at rig

Oil and Gas Facts & Figures 2019

The oil and gas industry plays an integral role in the economy of Wyoming. Here you will find the latest oil and gas facts and figures from Wyoming, including development, taxes, employment and more. For more information on oil and gas development in general, as well as in Wyoming, visit our Oil and Gas 101 page.


The petroleum industry has been exploring for oil and gas in Wyoming for over 135 years. In 1884 the first oil well was drilled southeast of present day Lander.

50 new field wildcat wells, those drilled in unproven areas, were drilled in 2018. In 2018, 90% of wildcat wells found oil or gas.

The deepest well drilled in Wyoming to date was a 25,764-foot dry hole. The deepest producing well is a gas well drilled to 24,877 feet.

The 2018 monthly average rig count was 29. The 2016 average of 11 is the lowest recorded rig count. In 1981, the all-time record year for rotary rig activity in Wyoming, was an average of 192 units working monthly.


In 2018, sales of crude oil production totaled 88 million barrels, up 16% from 2017. Sales of natural gas production in 2018 totaled 1,592 trillion cubic feet up 1.86% from 2017.

Nationally, Wyoming ranked 7th in production of crude oil in 2018 and 8th in natural gas production during 2018. In 2009 Wyoming recorded its highest level of natural gas production, while 2009 marked the lowest level of crude oil production since 1954. 1970 was the year of highest crude oil production in the state, producing 141,546,503 barrels.

Converse County was the leading crude oil producer in 2018 followed by Campbell and Laramie Counties. Sublette County was the largest natural gas producer, with Sweetwater and Fremont Counties following.

During 2018, 361 companies/operators produced Wyoming’s crude oil and 227 produced natural gas. There were 25,605 producing wells. In 2018 approximately 10,967 wells produced oil and 14,638 produced gas of that number 5,870 were coal bed natural gas wells. The average daily production for an oil well was 21.9 barrels. For a gas well, the average was 298 Mcf per day.

Wyoming had 42 operating gas plants in 2018 processing nearly 90% of the state’s gas production.


Wyoming’s first refinery was constructed in Casper in 1895.  In 2018 there were 5 operating refineries in the state with a capacity to refine 168,500 barrels of crude oil each day. In 1981 there were 14 active refineries in the state.

The first crude oil pipeline was constructed in 1911.  Today, there are approximately 100 companies operating approximately 30,000 miles of pipelines in Wyoming, not including all gathering systems or all inactive or abandoned pipelines.  Pipelines are located in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties and carry crude, natural gas, natural gas liquids, carbon dioxide and petroleum products.



Oil and gas production, by itself, accounted for over 33% of the total property taxes levied in Wyoming and more than 64% of the property taxes levied on all minerals.

Property taxes levied – 2017 Mineral Production

Crude Oil $ 206,346,324
Natural Gas $ 195,046,813
Oil and Gas Total $ 401,393,137
Coal $ 185,304,973
Trona $ 31,592,231
All Others $ 8,839,624
Total All Minerals $ 626,129,965
TOTAL All-State Property $1,344,332,107

Minerals as a Percentage of Property Taxes

  • Oil and Gas
  • Coal
  • All Others
  • Non-Mineral Property

Minerals are the only class or kind of property in Wyoming valued and taxed at 100% of their actual value. Minerals are also the only class or kind of property which pay two direct taxes (property and severance).



Crude oil and natural gas production paid over $382 million in severance taxes, about 62% of all the severance taxes paid by minerals produced in 2018.

Severance Taxes – 2018 Production

Crude Oil $ 193,590,469
Natural Gas $ 188,630,442
Oil and Gas Total $ 382,220,911
Coal $ 211,739,705
Trona $ 18,791,757
All Others $ 3,080,248
Total All Minerals $ 615,832,621

Percentage of Severance Taxes Collected

  • Oil and Gas
  • Coal
  • Trona
  • All Others


In addition to property and severance taxes, Wyoming collects a royalty for petroleum produced on state-owned lands along with certain fees and rentals.  The state also receives one-half of the royalties paid to the federal government for leasing, production, and fees on federal lands.  Typically, the royalty rate on state leases is 16 2/3%.  On federal lands, the rate is 12 1/2%.



At the beginning of 2017, Wyoming ranked 7th in the nation in proved reserves of crude oil and 8th in natural gas proved reserves. Crude oil reserves for 2017 are 1,119 million barrels. Natural gas reserves for 2017 are 22 trillion cubic feet. 1960 was the largest year for crude oil reserves. 2009 was the largest year for natural gas reserves.


In 2018 Wyoming’s petroleum industry directly employed over 18,000 people with an annual payroll of over $1 billion.  In 1981 employment peaked with more than 32,000 individuals working in the industry.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by Industry (in millions)

  • Oil and Gas
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Agriculture

In fiscal year 2018 oil and gas production contributed the following to state and local governments:

The Oil & Gas Industry’s Share of Property Assessed for Taxation by County Fiscal Year 2017

Albany 3.22%
Big Horn 29.81%
Campbell 24.51%
Carbon 65%
Converse 61.41%
Crook 30.74%
Fremont 45.87%
Goshen 11.48%
Hot Springs 60.71%
Johnson 67.15%
Laramie 27.31%
Lincoln 37.43%
Natrona 28.72%
Niobrara 48.34%
Park 38.98%
Platte 13.07%
Sheridan 2.09%
Sublette 93.5%
Sweetwater 40.03%
Teton 0.09%
Unita 44.44%
Washakie 23.97%
Weston 40.7%
Statewide 39%

All data obtained from the State of Wyoming and/or federal agencies.

Currently, a 6% severance tax rate applies to crude oil and natural gas production (4% on stripper).  Severance tax revenues are distributed to a variety of funds including: General Fund, Permanent Mineral Trust Fund, schools, cities, towns, highways, counties and water development.