Petroleum Association of Wyoming Celebrates Golden Anniversary in 2024

Association organized 50 years ago in Casper, roots stretch back even further

January 11, 2024

Casper, Wyo. –

This year marks the Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s (PAW) 50th year as the voice of Wyoming’s oil and natural gas industry and more than 100 years of industry advocacy as its predecessor organization, the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association (RMOGA).

RMOGA was established in Casper in 1921 under the leadership of former Wyoming Governor B.B. Brooks. From the 1940s to the 1960s, RMOGA expanded from a Wyoming-based oil trade association into a regional association with division offices in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska. Eventually, division offices evolved into their own state associations to better represent their members and focus on state level issues while cooperating on federal policies.

In January of 1974, “oil leaders throughout Wyoming, in a Casper meeting, organized the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, blending the two present oil industry trade organizations into one.” The Wyoming Oil Industry Committee (WOIC) and the Wyoming Division of RMOGA “joined in an effort to establish a more effective vehicle to speak for the industry in Wyoming,” according to a press release issued at the time.

“I am so thankful for the visionary leadership of people like Governor Brooks and the hard work of my predecessors here at PAW, like Arthur Roberts, Robert Martin, Rick Robitaille, and Bruce Hinchey” said PAW President Pete Obermueller. “It is hard to imagine what our industry, and even Wyoming, would look like today without the persistent advocacy for Wyoming’s primary economic driver from PAW’s members and staff over the last 50 years. I know everyone at PAW is looking forward to continuing that legacy into the future.”

“It is remarkable to look back to the origins of PAW and see what our industry was talking about 50 years ago,” said PAW Chairman Spencer Kimball. “Public lands, wildlife, taxation and federal policies were at the forefront of PAW members minds in 1974 and while we continue to discuss similar issues today, I can say with certainty the industry is in a better position thanks to the work of PAW. On behalf of the Board of Directors and all our members I invite you to join us in celebrating 50 years of PAW.”

Today, PAW members range from 26 of the State’s top 30 producers to many small mom and pop operations, accounting for more than 90% of Wyoming’s oil and natural gas production.

Events will be held throughout the year to honor PAW’s 50 years, including:

  • 50th Anniversary Celebration and Legislative Reception, February 27th, Cheyenne
  • Spring Social, April 8th, Casper
  • Rockies Petroleum Conference, PAW Annual Meeting and Golf Tournament, August 21st-23rd, Laramie
  • Holiday Reception, December 3rd, Casper
  • Wildlife & Reclamation Conference, December 4th, Casper

About PAW: Representing Wyoming’s primary economic engine, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, is the voice of the oil and gas industry. Our members produce 90% of Wyoming’s oil and gas, generating over $5 billion in economic activity and directly employing more than 19,000 of Wyoming’s hard-working men and women. PAW strives to foster mutually beneficial relationships with Wyoming’s landowners, businesses, and communities while promoting the sustainable production of Wyoming’s abundant resources.

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming provides a forum for education, interaction, and unified action for members, policymakers, and the public.