Wyoming: A Place for Energy and Persistence
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin
Discussing topics in the energy sector gives one a certain, well, energy. A charge or *spark* – a bolt of anticipatory excitement and the promise of potential comes from being “in the know.” I just received such a spark …
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) released a new portal this week that will change the way that we analyze state-level energy data in the United States. To be honest, I am very excited about it, in the only way that a true nerd in the energy sector who writes an energy-focused blog can be.
It is called the State Energy Portal and can be found here.
I was instantly pulled to focus on the Rockies, and one clear conclusion was apparent – states in the Rockies, namely, North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado, produce more energy than they consume. The Rockies are producers. Check out the EIA states overview map here.
Yes, there are obviously other states in the same boat that are producing more energy than they consume (check out Texas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Alaska, for example). However, there is not an entire producing region like the Rockies anywhere else in the United States. States in the Rockies are synonymous with energy production – the Rockies are giants in energy production.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” That could not be more true for the Rockies, an area of the country built by persistence, grit and tenacity – and also by the energy sector.
The Cowboy State via the State Energy Portal
The state-by-state analysis in the State Energy Portal is amazingly instructive. As a native of the Cowboy State, I was first drawn to the analysis on Wyoming, which can be found here.
The first sentence of the State Energy Portal analysis on Wyoming says it all:
“Wyoming produces 15 times more energy than it consumes, which makes it the biggest net energy supplier among the states.”
Folks from Wyoming are taught from a very young age the importance of producing. Work hard, imagine big, create, labor and focus your effort – produce something valuable with your time. It makes sense that Wyoming is THE giant in energy production.
What is also important, though, is that the State has a variety of sources to tap for energy production. According to the State Energy Portal Wyoming analysis, and the internal sources cited within the same:
- Coal: 7 of the 10 largest U.S. coal mines are located in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
- Petroleum: Wyoming is the 6th largest crude oil producer in the U.S.
- Oil Production: Wyoming’s monthly oil production is on the rise and in August 2018 reached its highest level in more than 25 years. Most of the state’s oil production increase has come from two primary regions in eastern Wyoming: the Niobrara Shale (due north of the Colorado border) and the Powder River Basin (due south of the Montana border).
- Natural Gas: Wyoming ranks among the top 5 states with the most natural gas reserves.
- Natural Gas Production: Most of Wyoming’s natural gas has come from fields in the Green River Basin located in the southwest corner of the Cowboy State. Notably, more than half of the state’s natural gas is produced on leased federal land – recently in 2018, the federal government approved a large natural gas project in the basin, which calls for the drilling of 3,500 wells over 10 years.
- Uranium: Wyoming has significant uranium reserves and is home to the largest uranium mining operations in the U.S.
- Wind: Wyoming has some of the largest wind reserves in the nation and big wind-generating electricity projects are in the works in the State.
- Hydroelectric Power: Many people may not know that Wyoming is home to 21 hydropower dams and hydroelectric power is the 3rd largest source of Wyoming’s power generation.
TAKEAWAY: Wyoming is an energy production giant. It provides a variety of sources for energy production, which clearly causes energy-related industries to dominate the Cowboy State. While Wyoming is my personal place to refuel and recharge, it also is a major energy producer for the nation.