Report: The Status of Utah’s Oil and Gas Industry

This graphical analysis shows that Utah's oil and gas industry was recovering at the time of the report.

Today’s headlines are rife with contradictory rhetoric about the health of the oil and gas industry. Getting past hyperbole is critical to informed public policy decisions about how to manage state and federal lands, what tax policies best reflect long-term interest of communities, how to protect air and water resources, and how to encourage a healthy energy industry.

This report uses graphical analysis to offer a snapshot of Utah’s oil and natural gas industry in early 2012. The figures address production volume and value, drilling activity, and the role of energy production in Utah’s economy. The purpose of this report is to educate decision makers and the public about the current health of Utah’s oil and gas industry and what factors are affecting the state of the industry.

We found that oil and gas drilling activity has made a strong recovery in Utah since reaching a recession-induced low in 2009, a trend that we are seeing region-wide. That comeback is being led by the strength of oil prices and increased oil drilling activity within the state. However, Utah’s relatively low share of proven national oil reserves means that industry attention is primarily focused in states with higher proven oil reserves.