Wyoming’s Oil and Gas Resources

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Wyoming is rich in oil and gas resources. The state currently ranks third in the nation in the production of natural gas and eighth in crude oil production. Wyoming hosts some of the largest oil and gas fields in the nation, including Jonah, Pinedale, Madden, and coalbed natural gas in the Powder River Basin (PRB).

Wyoming’s vast oil and gas resources are due to the state’s geologic history. The bulk of the oil and gas, found deep in the state’s basins, began as organicrich shales deposited in the shallow Permian seas of the Phosphoria Formation (278–253 million years ago) or the Cretaceous western interior seaway (124–65 million years ago). Subsequent burial and increased pressures and temperatures allowed the organic material to mature into hydrocarbons, which migrated and were ultimately trapped in various locations in the basins throughout the state. These traps are Wyoming’s oil and gas fields.

WSGS Contact, Ranie Lynds.