Wyoming crude oil production is on the upswing.
The state produced more crude oil last year than it has in any year since 1999. That's in line with a nationwide trend; last year the country produced more crude oil than it has in any year since 1989.
State geologist Tom Drean says the increase can be attributed to more drilling activity in unconventional plays like shale and tight sands, made possible because of technologies like fracking, and horizontal and extended reach drilling.
Drean says as a result, the definition of unconventional is changing. “They call them unconventional for the most part because they don’t fit the traditional mode of what oil and gas reservoirs have been in the historic past,” he says. “Although I will say that I think unconventional plays is becoming a bit of a misnomer because the reality is that they are becoming the more conventional plays in the United States.”
Drean anticipates that this surge in crude oil will increase state revenues. He also says that as the technology is refined, crude oil production will increase. “Given the oil price staying at a relatively high level it looks like the plays are going to continue to progress, which should lead to even further increases in oil production in the state.”