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New Mexico leads the Rockies region in gas production and ranks as the sixth-largest in terms of active gas wells in the U.S. Last year, the state's gas well count slightly increased by 0.2% to 30,699, with new additions in both the northwestern San Juan Basin and the southeastern Permian Basin. 

Meanwhile, just to the north in Colorado, gas producers grew by a modest 0.1% to 30,322, primarily due to increased drilling activity in the DJ and Piceance basins. 

Wyoming saw a decline in its active gas wells by 3.7%, down to 17,006, with production mainly in Sublette, Sweetwater, and Converse counties reflecting stable or slightly reduced drilling activity. 

Utah also experienced a slight decrease of 0.2% in its number of gas wells, totaling 6,463.

In Q1 2024, oil and gas industry activity in Oklahoma, Colorado, and northern New Mexico experienced a decline. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter of contraction in drilling and business activities within these regions. According to a survey that included responses from 33 firms operating in the Rockies, this downtrend is expected to continue over the next six months. 



RBN Energy Analytics provided data on the usage trends for natural gas pipelines in the Rockies' northern area. 


2013: The year started with a usage of approximately 0.35 Bcf/d.

2014: Usage peaked at just under 0.32 Bcf/d.

2015: There was a sharp drop in usage to around 0.13 Bcf/d.

2016-2020: The period saw moderate fluctuations in flow with a general upward trend, peaking near 0.35 Bcf/d in 2020.

2021: Flow slightly reduced to about 0.32 Bcf/d.

2022: Usage further decreased to 0.2 Bcf/d.



Kern Pipeline: This pipeline has shown high and consistent usage, often near or at its capacity of 2 Bcf/d, especially from 2015 onwards. In 2022, the flow was almost 2 Bcf/d.

Ruby Pipeline: Comparatively lower utilization than Kern, with the highest recorded flow around 0.8 Bcf/d in 2014, declining steadily to about 0.5 Bcf/d by 2022.



2013: Utilization was near its peak at nearly 1.2 Bcf/d.

2014-2021: There was a significant declining trend in utilization, with a steep drop between 2013 and 2014, bottoming out at approximately 0.4 Bcf/d by 2021.

2022: Utilization increased slightly to 0.5 Bcf/d.



These pipelines, including Trailblazer, Tallgrass Interstate, Southern Star, Cheyenne Plains, and CIG, have a collective maximum capacity of 3.9 Bcf/d. Their flow over the years:

2013-2014: Started strong with flows around 1.5 Bcf/d.

2015-2021: A general downward trend was noted, with minor year-to-year variations. By 2021, the flow was around 1.4 Bcf/d.

2022: Reduced further to 1.2 Bcf/d.


The RBN Energy Forecast MID Scenario provides a detailed outlook on 'Dry Gas' Production for Major Rockies Basins, considering the total marketed production adjusted for NGL shrinkage. 


Big Horn Basin

Wind River Basin

Green River Basin

Powder River Basin

Denver Julesburg Basin

Piceance Basin

Uinta Basin

San Juan Basin


4 Bcf/d

3.9 Bcf/d

3.6 Bcf/d

1.9 Bcf/d

1.2 Bcf/d

3.1 Bcf/d

1.2 Bcf/d

2.7 Bcf/d


3.8 Bcf/d

3.8 Bcf/d

3.7 Bcf/d

2.4 Bcf/d

1.7 Bcf/d

2.4 Bcf/d

0.9 Bcf/d

2.5 Bcf/d


4 Bcf/d

4 Bcf/d

3.6 Bcf/d

2.8 Bcf/d

2.1 Bcf/d

2.3 Bcf/d

0.8 Bcf/d

2.4 Bcf/d


3.1 Bcf/d

3 Bcf/d

2.8 Bcf/d

3.5 Bcf/d

2.7 Bcf/d

2 Bcf/d

0.6 Bcf/d

1.9 Bcf/d


2.2 Bcf/d

2.2 Bcf/d

1.9 Bcf/d

3.4 Bcf/d

2.7 Bcf/d

1.8 Bcf/d

0.7 Bcf/d

1.7 Bcf/d


1.8 Bcf/d

1.7 Bcf/d

1.6 Bcf/d

3.7 Bcf/d

2.9 Bcf/d

1.6 Bcf/d

0.7 Bcf/d

1.4 Bcf/d


1.7 Bcf/d

1.6 Bcf/d

1.5 Bcf/d

3.8 Bcf/d

2.9 Bcf/d

1.4 Bcf/d

0.6 Bcf/d

1.3 Bcf/d


1.5 Bcf/d

1.5 Bcf/d

1.4 Bcf/d

3.8 Bcf/d

3.0 Bcf/d

1.3 Bcf/d

0.6 Bcf/d

1.2 Bcf/d


1.4 Bcf/d

1.4 Bcf/d

1.4 Bcf/d

3.9 Bcf/d

3.1 Bcf/d

1.2 Bcf/d

0.5 Bcf/d

1.1 Bcf/d


1.3 Bcf/d

1.3 Bcf/d

1.3 Bcf/d

4 Bcf/d

3.2 Bcf/d

1.2 Bcf/d

0.5 Bcf/d

1 Bcf/d



As the demand for gas in the Rockies increases, there is a growing need for expanded takeaway capacity. 


Initial Gas Capacity (1997): 0.24 Bcf/d

Current Capacity: 230,000 bbl/d (or 1.38 Bcf/d)

The Pony Express Pipeline spans 830 miles with a main line running from Guernsey to Cushing, Oklahoma. It includes a secondary Northeast Colorado Lateral capable of delivering up to 90,000 bbl/d to Cushing. 



Initial Gas Capacity (1999): 0.6 Bcf/d

Current Capacity: 1 Bcf/d

Owned by Kinder Morgan, the TransColorado Pipeline stretches 303.8 miles from Rio Blanco County, Colorado, to San Juan County, New Mexico. It is currently utilized at less than half capacity, primarily serving the midstream and producer sectors with major customers including El Paso Natural Gas Co. and Concord Energy LLC. The pipeline connects the Greasewood and Meeker Hubs in Colorado to the Blanco Hub in New Mexico. More information can be accessed here.



Initial Gas Capacity (2002): 0.33 Bcf/d

Current Capacity: 0.87 Bcf/d

The Trailblazer Pipeline, owned by Tallgrass Energy and operated by Trailblazer Pipeline Company, covers 436 miles from northeast Colorado to Nebraska. It operates above half its capacity, serving producers and marketers with main customers including Concord Energy LLC, Morgan Stanley Capital, and Shell Energy North America. Detailed information here.

Tallgrass plans to convert this pipeline to a CO2 transportation service. The 400-mile pipeline will be central to a regional CO2 transportation system aimed at sequestering more than 10 million metric tons of CO2 annually from facilities in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming at a commercial-scale hub in southeastern Wyoming.



Initial Gas Capacity (2003): Expanded by 0.9 Bcf/d

Current Capacity: 2.17 Bcf/d

The Kern River Gas Transmission, operated by Kern River Gas Transmission Company and owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, extends 1,700 miles from Opal, Wyoming, through Utah and Nevada, to Daggett, California. This pipeline runs at full capacity, catering primarily to the utility/power and marketer sectors with key customers including Nevada Power Company, Southern California Gas, and Citadel Energy Marketing. Further details here.



Initial Gas Capacity (2006): Added 0.74 Bcf/d

Current Capacity: 0.8 Bcf/d

Owned by Kinder Morgan, Inc., and operated by Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, this 410-mile pipeline stretches from near the Wyoming-Colorado border to south-central Kansas. Currently, it operates at its lowest utilization, primarily serving the producers, power, and utilities sectors. Significant customers include OPOC LLC and Kansas Gas Service Company. More information here.



Initial Gas Capacity (2009): 1.8 Bcf/d

Current Capacity: 4.4 Bcf/d

The Rockies Express Pipeline runs 1,679 miles from Rio Blanco County, Colorado, to Monroe County, Ohio, and is owned by Tallgrass Energy (Blackstone Group/Enagas/GIC Private). It operates at full capacity, serving the producers and marketers sectors, with customers such as Eqt Energy, Ascent Resources - Utica, and DCP Midstream Marketing. The pipeline connects receipt points in Wyoming and Colorado to various delivery locations across states including Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Read more here.

U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 is considering selling its 25% stake in the Rockies Express Pipeline, which is valued at potentially over $1 billion as part of an effort to raise about $3 billion from asset sales this year. 



Company Name

Wells Drilled


Chevron U.S.A. Inc.






Anschutz Exploration



Civitas Resources



Koda Resources



XCL Resources



Eog Resources, Inc.



Verdad Resources



Terra Energy



Ovintiv USA





Company Name

Production (Boe/d)


Continental Resources






Terra Energy Partners



PureWest Energy



Caerus Oil & Gas









Jonah Energy



Grayson Mill Operating



Slawson Exploration



Bayswater E&P



Crowheart Energy



Kraken Resources



Carbon Creek Energy






Morningstar Operating



Koda Resources



Verdad Resources



Enduring Resources







Location: Spanning the U.S. states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming

Green River Formation is an underground oil shale formation that contains as much as 1.8 trillion barrels of shale oil.


  • PureWest


Denver-based PureWest is the second-largest natural gas producer in the Green River Basin, right behind ExxonMobil. As of May 1, 2023, the company was responsible for producing approximately 650 MMcf/d, out of the total basin production of 2.4 Bcf/d, across its 3,400 operated wells. The main companies involved in gathering and processing PureWest's gas include Williams, Enterprise Products, and MPLX. Notably, in 2022, Enterprise Products' Pioneer system achieved an operating margin of $113 million. 

Recently, PureWest was acquired for $1.84 billion, a deal that highlights its substantial assets including more than 110,000 net acres in the Pinedale and Jonah Fields located in Sublette County, Wyoming. 


  • Eagle Natural Resources


The Red Desert Joint Venture focuses on drilling two horizontal wells in Wyoming's Green River Basin, specifically in the Lewis Trend, with Crowheart Energy as the operator. This area's geology, known as the Lewis Formation, is well-suited to horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracturing. An example nearby well in this formation has produced up to 1,050 barrels of oil and 8.1 million cubic feet of gas per day. The projected total recovery from this well is 513 thousand barrels of oil and 6.1 billion cubic feet of gas. Crowheart Energy has drilled 61 horizontal wells in the area, with 43 currently producing from the Lewis Formation.

Eagle Natural Resources, involved in these efforts, has also participated in 61 successful horizontal wells in the Niobrara Trend of the DJ Basin in Colorado and Wyoming. Since September 2018, these wells have produced a total of 7.8 million barrels of oil and 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas (14.8 Million Barrels of Oil, Equivalent). Eagle is now looking to expand into the Lewis Formation of the Green River Basin and continues to explore new projects in both the Green River and DJ Basins, utilizing advanced drilling techniques.


  • Greylock Energy 


Greylock Energy, after a 2022 acquisition, owns 1,400 mostly vertical wells on 290,000 acres in Utah's Uinta Basin and Wyoming's Green River Basin. This acquisition increased its daily production by 50% and its oil production by 2,000%, although natural gas still represents 90% of its output. 

Post-acquisition, Greylock manages 1.2 million acres, 6,700 wells, and 2,600 miles of pipeline. In Appalachia, its production includes about 100 Marcellus wells in Greene County, Pennsylvania.


Location: Southwest Wyoming

The Pinedale field, part of the Green River Basin, stands out as one of the country's top regions for natural gas production. In 2023, a single well in Pinedale managed to produce 653 billion cubic feet of gas per day.



Location: Sublette County, Wyoming

The Jonah Field is a major source of natural gas. This field is also in the Green River Basin and primarily extracts gas from sandstone formations found in Upper Cretaceous fluvial channels. In 2023, the Jonah Field's daily gas production was 304 billion cubic feet. 



Location: Northeast Utah

The Uinta Basin, known for its development from the Uteland Butte reservoir in the Lower Green River, hosts the largest oil shale deposits in the U.S. along with the Piceance Basin. Within the Uinta Basin, deep burial of organic-rich Green River shales has led to significant production of kerogen, often described as "waxy oil."

Located in Northeast Utah, the Uinta Basin is a prominent lacustrine oil basin, producing waxy crude oil from depths between 4,500 and 13,500 feet. The basin is globally recognized for its extensive shale and conventional hydrocarbon resources, including its neighboring Piceance and Greater Green River basins. Since beginning consistent oil production in 1949, the Uinta Basin has seen a resurgence in output, particularly with the advent of horizontal drilling technology.

According to Ovintiv’s Q4 earnings call in 2022, the Uinta Basin achieved the highest operating margin in Ovintiv’s portfolio, matching the performance of the Permian Basin. 

By August 2023, the Uinta Basin was producing approximately 140 Mb/d of crude oil and 700 MMcf/d of natural gas, per data from East Daley’s Energy Data Studio. The majority of Uinta oil is transported by truck to Salt Lake City refineries and to two small rail terminals that ship to Gulf Coast refiners. 

XCL Resources, initially exploring development opportunities across the U.S., shifted its focus from Texas and the Bakken to the Uinta Basin due to comparable well productivity. This led to discussions with Altamont Energy about a potential acquisition, driven by XCL’s existing land adjacent to Altamont's holdings in Duchesne and Uintah counties. The Uinta Basin has attracted various companies, enhancing competition with new entries like Scout Energy Partners and Vaquero Energy, and reentries from companies such as Berry Corp. and Caerus Uinta.

Both XCL Resources and Altamont Energy have significant operations within Duchesne and Uintah counties in Utah, with ownership and operation of oil wells and land assets. According to the most recent data, XCL Resources produced approximately 1.57 million barrels of oil in December 2023, translating to an average daily production of over 50,000 barrels. For the entire year, the average daily production was around 44,860 barrels. In comparison, Altamont Energy's production for December 2023 was 109,349 barrels, equating to approximately 3,527 barrels per day, with an annual average production of 4,052 barrels per day.

As of the last reporting period, Altamont Energy operated 66 active wells in Utah. XCL Resources reported managing 135 horizontal wells across approximately 45,900 net acres in Utah. The company maintains an active drilling program in the Uinta Basin, averaging the completion of about 70 new wells annually.

Altamont Energy's drilling efforts are concentrated on exploiting the Wasatch and Green River formations within the Uinta Basin, where it successfully brought eight new horizontal wells into production last year.


Location: Northwest Colorado
The Piceance Basin and the Uinta Basin both host a broad range of fossil fuel-bearing deposits from the late Paleozoic to the early Cenozoic eras. In the Piceance Basin, the primary focus is on extracting natural gas, while in the Greater Green River Basin and the Denver-Julesburg (D-J) Basin, activities are more centered on liquids and oil.

One notable site near the boundary between the Uinta and Piceance basins is the Rangely oil field, which has been a significant source of oil since the 1940s. Although oil was first discovered there in 1901, the field wasn't developed until after World War II due to its remote location. Since then, Rangely has produced nearly 800 million barrels of oil, making it Colorado's most prolific oil field for many years.

Top producers in the Piceance Basin: 

Producer Name

Oil Produced

Gas Produced

BOE Produced

Antero Resources Piceance LLC

687.5K BBL

54.4M MCF

9.7M BOE

Ballard Petroleum LLC

172.9K BBL

28.8M MCF

4.9M BOE

Barrett Corporation* Bill

3.1M BBL

252.3M MCF

45.1M BOE

Barrett Resources Corp

143K BBL

111.2M MCF

18.6M BOE

Berry Petroleum Company, LLC

181.1K BBL

111.9M MCF

18.8M BOE

Black Hills Plateau Production LLC


40.3M MCF

6.7M BOE

Brown Inc* Tom

402.8K BBL

62.5M MCF

10.8M BOE

Caerus Piceance LLC

1.6M BBL

724.2M MCF

122.3M BOE


100.4M BBL

1.4B MCF

350.2M BOE

Coastal Oil & Gas Corporation


30.1M MCF


Delta Petroleum Corp

130.8K BBL

34.9M MCF

5.9M BOE


8.2M BBL

2.1B MCF

371.8M BOE



Location: Northeastern Colorado and Southeast Wyoming

The Niobrara-DJ Basin is a prolific area for gas, crude oil, and liquid production. This basin extends into the Powder River region of Wyoming and parts of Northwest Colorado, which are key areas in the Rocky Mountains. As of June 2023, EIA estimated that the Niobrara was producing about 4,000 barrels of oil per day.


In the second half of 2022, the Denver-Julesburg Basin Overview showed that Own Resources Operating led with 3,679 wells. OXY followed them with 2,594 wells, PDC Energy with 2,146 wells, Chevron with 1,784 wells, and Crestone Peak with 1,204 wells. On average, each well produced 5,878 MCF of gas, 1,175 barrels of oil, and 1,762 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). Regarding the status of the wells, there were 17,152 active wells, 1,418 shut-in wells, and 62 inactive or plugged and abandoned wells. The majority of the wells, at 92.1%, were active, while 7.6% were shut-in.

In December 2022, PDC Energy's Guanella CAP included 22 sites, around 33,000 net acres, and 450 wells in Weld County, Colorado, within the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin. 

At the end of 2022, Gungnir Resources sold its continuous acreage in the Codell/Niobrara Play of the northern Denver-Julesburg Basin, covering Laramie, Goshen, and Platte counties in Wyoming. The sale includes 136,622 contiguous rural acres and 43 operated drilling spacing units (DSUs) with 85 permits. 

In 2023, the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin, which extends into parts of Wyoming, saw notable activities, investments, and shifts in operational focus by major companies. Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was expected to maintain a modest rig count in the DJ Basin, focusing more on the Permian Basin. However, projections indicated that with a one-rig program, OXY's gas volumes on the WES-DJ system could average 647 MMcf/d in 2023, with a total rig count on the system standing at 6. East Daley forecasted an average of 4.7 rigs in 2023 for the WES-DJ system, which would result in flat system production. 

As of March 2023 Laramie County in Wyoming stood out with 513 horizontal wells and a daily production of 25,727 bo/d​​. In Wyoming, Occidental Petroleum was a significant player with a substantial daily production volume​. 

The DJ Basin saw a steady rebound in oil production in 2023, with figures reaching 516 Mb/d in September. The pipelines serving the DJ Basin also carried crude oil from the Williston and Powder River basins, with flows reaching an all-time high of 114 Mb/d. The total oil volumes moved out of the DJ Basin amounted to 630 Mb/d in the same period. Despite a high level of pipeline egress with an overall utilization of 79%, two of the four main pipelines delivering barrels to the Cushing hub were nearing capacity, specifically the Saddlehorn Pipeline and Pony Express, both at approximately 86% utilization. 

In December 2023 Williams expanded its presence in the Denver-Julesburg Basin through two acquisitions: Cureton Midstream for $560 million and a 50% remaining interest in Rocky Mountain Midstream for $714 million. 


The Niobrara Shale is often compared to the successful Bakken Shale formation due to its significant resource potential. The development is mostly concentrated in the DJ Basin, focusing on multi-bench developments and the Codell formation. The play is also associated with nearby formations such as the Powder River coalbed methane, Mancos, and Mowry shale, which add further potential to the area. 

As of early 2024, the EIA's Drilling Productivity Report highlights key production metrics for the Niobrara region. For instance, new-well oil production per rig was estimated at approximately 1,486 barrels per day in February 2024, with a slight increase projected for March 2024. Similarly, new-well gas production per rig was around 4,479 thousand cubic feet per day in February 2024, with an expected increase in the following month. Total oil production in Niobrara for February 2024 was around 711 thousand barrels per day, with a minor increase projected for March 2024. Gas production was about 5,372 million cubic feet per day, with a slight increase expected as well. 


Location: Northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana

Operating in Northern Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the Bighorn system, which Kinder Morgan owns 51% of, gathers and compresses coal bed methane gas through about 290 miles of pipeline, providing up to 300 MMcf/d of capacity. 

Major oil and gas operators in the Powder River Basin:

  • Anschutz, a privately held company, holds the largest stake with approximately 460,000 acres.
  • Anadarko (now part of Oxy) follows closely with about 445,000 acres. Following Oxy's acquisition of Anadarko, there is speculation that this position might be sold off to help finance the acquisition. However, a major challenge is the lack of investor support for acquisitions outside of the Permian Basin. Additionally, the Powder River Basin is still in the early stages of development, and it remains to be seen whether drilling can be done economically, despite some promising results.
  • EOG controls around 400,000 acres.
  • Devon Energy has about 330,000 acres.
  • Chesapeake owns approximately 213,000 acres.

In 2022, U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) started selling oil and gas leases again, leading to many new oil and gas wells being drilled and finished, especially in the Powder River Basin. 

In the first half of 2022, over 100 oil or gas wells were completed in Wyoming, following 201 completions in 2021 and 224 in 2020. Many of these were wells that had been drilled previously but not completed. The southern Powder River Basin and Denver Basin saw most of the new well completions, targeting unconventional oil accumulations in Cretaceous-age "tight" reservoirs, notably the Niobrara Formation. The Greater Green River Basin was the primary location for new natural gas well completions, with a smaller number in the Wind River and Bighorn basins.

Most of Wyoming's oil in the last two years came from Converse and Campbell counties in the Powder River Basin, making up about 60% of the state's total oil production. Laramie County, tapping into the Denver Basin, also emerged as a significant producer. This is a big change from a decade ago when these areas produced much less. For example, Laramie County only contributed 2% to Wyoming's oil production in 2013. Thanks to new drilling techniques and the development of unconventional oil fields, Wyoming's oil production doubled from 2009 to 2019.

The Converse County oil and gas project, approved in 2020, is expected to further increase production in the Powder River Basin, despite facing legal challenges. Drilling has started and can continue while the lawsuit is ongoing, indicating potential for future growth in Wyoming's oil and gas production.

Devon Energy and EOG Resources are among the top operators by acreage, with Devon holding approximately 470,000 net acres and EOG holding about 400,000 net acres in the basin. Additionally, in terms of completions over the last 12 months, Anschutz Exploration Corporation leads with 83 completions, followed by EOG Resources, Inc. with 33 completions. 

Throughout 2023, oil production in Wyoming showed an upward trend, with more than 95 million barrels expected to be produced, an increase of about 3 million barrels from 2022. This rise in oil production was partly attributed to the completion of 110 newly drilled oil wells in the first half of the year, mainly in the Powder River Basin. 

In August 2023 OneRock Energy expanded its presence in the basin with the acquisition of 160,000 net acres, focusing mainly in Converse, Campbell, and Johnson counties.  

Western Midstream Partners made a significant move by acquiring Meritage Midstream Services II for $885 million in Q4 2023. This acquisition expanded Western Midstream's footprint in the Powder River Basin and increased its natural gas processing capabilities. The acquisition included about 1,500 miles of natural gas pipelines and a natural gas processing facility capable of handling 380 million cubic feet per day. It also included the Thunder Creek NGL pipeline, a 120-mile pipeline regulated by the FERC, which can transport 38,000 barrels per day and connects to Meritage’s processing systems. 


Location: North Central Wyoming

The Big Horn area mainly uses traditional oil and gas resources. Meanwhile, the Wind River and Powder River Basins also tap into coalbed methane wells. Notably, the wells in the Powder River Basin are shallow and operate under low pressure.

In 2023, the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming saw notable activities in the oil and gas sector. Dallas-based Merit Energy Co. completed the first of four modern horizontal tests in Wyoming's oldest oil field, Grass Creek Field, located in the Big Horn Basin. These tests showed varying results, with the wells producing a range of oil outputs and significant amounts of water. For instance, one well, #3H Curtis, initially flowed 110 barrels of oil and 1.496 million barrels of water per day, while another, #4H Curtis, initially flowed 253 barrels of oil and 1.109 million barrels of water per day. These activities highlight the continued exploration and production efforts in the region​​. 

Additionally, Vaquero Big Horn LLC, an operator in the Big Horn Basin, reported having 224 total wells with 104 currently producing wells as of November 2023. In Park County alone, they produced 27,677 barrels of oil in November 2023, indicating a significant level of production activity within the region.  


Location: Weld County, Colorado

In Q1 2023, the Wattenberg field produced 216,000 barrels of oil per day, with 60% of this production being liquids. However, the field has seen a progressive decline in output recently. Situated in the Denver-Julesburg Basin of northeastern Colorado, the Wattenberg field spans over 2,000 square miles and contains around 23,000 wells. Operational since 1970, the field has gone through several periods of growth and decline.


Location: Northwest New Mexico and southwest Colorado

The San Juan Basin is known for its rich source rocks like the Paradox Formation, Mancos, and Lewis shales. By 2009, this basin had already produced 381 million barrels of oil and 42.6 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Recently, rising natural gas prices have boosted the basin's output. In May 2023, LOGOS Energy reported a 30-day production rate of 1,024 billion cubic feet per day from one of its wells. This trend is particularly evident at the Rosa Unit #647H well in Rio Arriba County, northeast of Navajo Lake, which set a record by producing 24.9 million equivalent cubic feet per day during a similar period in 2023. This was the highest production rate in the basin for over fifty years.

Over the past few years, major companies have been selling their stakes in the San Juan Basin. ConocoPhillips sold its assets for $3 billion in 2016, and Williams Partners followed suit in 2018, selling theirs for $1.125 billion. BP also announced plans to exit the basin as part of a larger strategy to divest up to $6 billion to fund shale oil and gas purchases elsewhere.

A 2022 report from the Los Angeles Times highlighted that nearly 9,000 of the acquired wells were not producing, making up about 38% of the unplugged wells in the area. 

In response to the pullout by larger companies and fluctuating market prices, smaller local firms like LOGOS have stepped in. LOGOS purchased the high-performing Rosa Unit #647H from WPX in 2017 during a period of low gas prices. 


Location: Utah and southwest Colorado

As noted by Tom Smith, CEO of GeoBrines International, Paradox Basin is a well-known source of minerals like uranium, potash, and lithium, along with oil and gas. In this region, gas is primarily extracted from the Pennsylvanian and Permian sandstone layers, and the extraction process also yields helium, particularly from the basin's Lisbon Field. 

Zephyr Energy, a company operating in the Rocky Mountain region, recently updated on its operations in the Paradox Basin of Utah, as well as on a non-operated project in North Dakota's Williston Basin. Zephyr's major asset in Utah is a 46,000-acre lease that has been evaluated by Sproule International. This lease holds 2.6 MMboe in proven reserves, 34 MMboe in contingent resources, and 270 MMboe in prospective resources. 

Currently, the company is gearing up for a significant drilling operation, the "twinned" redrill of the State 36-2 well. To prepare, Zephyr's team has engaged specialists to plan this high-pressure, high-temperature drilling process, working closely with insurance providers to manage risks. 




  • Wyoming is the 11th largest producer of oil and gas in the U.S
  • So far, Wyoming has seen 141,318 wells drilled in 2023
  • Each well in Wyoming produces an average of 1,143 BOE
  • There are currently 252 active oil and gas producers in Wyoming
  • The average depth of an oil or gas well in Wyoming is 7,666 feet


In 2022, oil production in Wyoming neared a 10-year high with 90 million barrels produced, just short of the decade's peak in 2019, which saw 102.2 million barrels. While expectations are high for continued growth in oil production, there are challenges ahead. One such challenge includes the advancement of the Converse County Oil and Gas Project in the Powder River Basin, which received the green light from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2020.

On the other hand, Wyoming's natural gas industry experienced a slight decline in 2022. According to industry expert Lichnter, this dip is part of a broader, long-term downward trend that began with the market crash in 2008.

The state had a peak of 27,951 producing wells in 2022, including oil and gas wells, with 33 operating gas plants processing nearly 97% of the state's gas production. Notably, 21 of Wyoming's 23 counties produce oil and/or natural gas, with Converse County leading in crude oil production and Sublette County in natural gas production​​. 

As of October 2023, Wyoming produced 6 million barrels of oil and 124.6 million MCF of gas. 

  • Total Wells

The total number of wells drilled increased slightly from 140,874 in 2022 to 141,228 in 2023, marking a 0.25% year-over-year growth. This increment highlights ongoing exploration and production efforts in the state.

  • Producing Wells

Conversely, the total producing wells experienced a decline from 27,110 to 25,425, reflecting a -6.22% YoY trend. This decrease could indicate the maturation of some fields or operational adjustments.

  • Active Producers

The number of active producers in Wyoming dropped from 293 in 2022 to 255 in 2023, a -13% change, which may point to industry consolidation or the exit of less competitive firms.

  • Permits

A stark decrease in approved permits from 109 in 2022 to none in 2023 (-100% YoY) could signify regulatory shifts or strategic pauses in new projects.

  • Average Well Depth

The average well depth saw a marginal increase from 7,656 feet in 2022 to 7,660 feet in 2023, suggesting a consistent focus on accessing deeper reservoirs.

  • Average BOE per Well

There was an improvement in the average BOE produced per well, from 993 in 2022 to 1,057 in 2023, indicating enhanced efficiency or the tapping of more productive reserves.

Top 10 Oil & Gas Producers by BOE in Wyoming (Dec 2023)


Producer Name


Monthly BOE Produced

Producing Wells


Ultra Resources Inc

Pinedale, WY

5.7M BBL



Exxon Mobil Corporation

Houston, TX

3.6M BBL



Jonah Energy LLC

Pinedale, WY




Carbon Creek Energy LLC

Sheridan, WY

878.7K BBL



Wexpro Company

Salt Lake City, UT

865.3K BBL



Hilcorp Energy Company

Houston, TX

564.2K BBL



Ballard Petroleum Holdings LLC

Laurel, MT

472.8K BBL



Merit Energy Company

Dallas, TX

462.4K BBL



Samson Exploration LLC

Tulsa, OK

408.4K BBL



North Silo Resources LLC

Houston, TX

313.3K BBL





  • Colorado is the #7 largest producer of oil and gas in the U.S.
  • Wells Drilled This Year: Colorado has seen 122,799 wells drilled so far this year
  • A total of 575 permits have been approved in Colorado
  • Each well in Colorado produces an average of 1,283 BOE
  • Currently 189 active oil and gas producers in Colorado
  • The average depth of an oil or gas well in Colorado is 6,865 feet


In 2022, Colorado held nearly 4% of the nation's economically recoverable crude oil reserves. That year, the state's crude oil production was almost five times higher than it was in 2010, thanks largely to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies. This marked a 3% increase from the previous year, the first annual increase in two years.

The majority of Colorado's crude oil is sourced from the Niobrara Shale formation within the Denver-Julesburg Basin in northeastern Colorado. Notably, Weld County alone contributes about 80% of the state’s crude oil, with the Wattenberg field in this county being one of the top 10 U.S. oil and natural gas fields based on proved reserves. Another significant production area is the Piceance Basin in Colorado's western mountain region.

In December 2022, a refinery shutdown caused by damage from extreme cold led to higher gasoline prices in the Rocky Mountain region. With increasing crude oil production from the Niobrara Shale and output surpassing refining capacities, there has been a push to build or repurpose more pipelines to transport Colorado’s crude oil to out-of-state refineries. 

Top 10 Oil & Gas Producers by BOE in Colorado (Dec 2023)


Producer Name


Monthly BOE Produced

Producing Wells


PDC Energy Inc

Denver, CO

7.1M BBL



Kerr McGee Oil & Gas Onshore LP

Denver, CO

5.5M BBL



Noble Energy Inc

Denver, CO

5.3M BBL



Kinder Morgan CO2 Co LP

Cortez, CO

3.8M BBL



WPX Energy Rocky Mountain LLC

Denver, CO

2.8M BBL



Crestone Peak Resources Operating LLC


2.5M BBL



Caerus Piceance LLC

Denver, CO

2.2M BBL



Extraction Oil & Gas LLC

Denver, CO

1.9M BBL



Silver Mountain Energy LLC

La Veta, Colorado

1.7M BBL



Great Western Operating Company LLC

Denver, CO

1.6M BBL



Total Wells: Slightly increased from 122,300 in 2022 to 122,799 in 2023, showing a growth of 0.41%.

Total Producing Wells: A decrease in the number of producing wells, from 36,560 in 2022 to 35,889 in 2023, which represents a decline of 1.84%.

Percentage of Wells Producing: The % of wells producing dropped from 30% in 2022 to 29% in 2023, marking a 2% decrease.

Active Producers: The number of active producers fell significantly, from 212 in 2022 to 189 in 2023, a reduction of 11%.

Total Permits: A substantial increase from 280 in 2022 to 575 in 2023, an increase of 105%.

Average Well Depth: A minimal increase from 6,852 feet in 2022 to 6,865 feet in 2023.

Average BOE per Well: Improvement in productivity per well, with average barrels of oil equivalent per well rising from 1,169 in 2022 to 1,283 in 2023, an increase of 10%.




Denver-based Sitio Royalties announced a significant $150 million acquisition in the Denver-Julesburg (D-J) Basin. The purchase includes over 13,000 net royalty acres primarily located in the Wattenberg Field in Weld County, Colorado, which represents about 77% of the acquired interests.

This area of the D-J Basin is notably active, with around 75% of the basin's total drilling rigs operating on the acreage Sitio acquired. The production from these assets averaged 2,609 boe/d during the fourth quarter, with 41% being oil.

Sitio is now working alongside some of the top operators in the D-J Basin, including Chevron. Chevron itself expanded significantly last year by acquiring PDC Energy for $6.3 billion, further establishing its presence in Colorado.




Despite investing $12 billion to acquire CrownRock, a private Permian Basin E&P in West Texas, Occidental Petroleum continues to value its assets in the DJ Basin as a core part of its U.S. portfolio. Occidental has praised the D-J Basin for significant improvements, noting a 32% increase in well productivity from 2022 to 2023 and projecting an 11% annual production growth for the Rockies and other segments based on their 2024 guidance.

Occidental, based in Houston, is aiming to increase its total production to between 1.22 and 1.28 MMboe/d this year. This target represents a 2.2% increase from the average production in 2023. While production in the Permian Basin remained nearly flat last year with a plan to reduce drilling rigs, the company expects its assets in the Rockies to drive some growth. In the last quarter of 2023, Occidental's total production was 1.23 MMboe/d, including 285,000 boe/d from the Rockies.

Occidental holds approximately 800,000 net acres in the D-J Basin, spanning across Colorado, where recent stringent regulatory measures have been introduced for drilling wells. Occidental was the first company in Colorado to receive drilling approvals under the new standards set by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in early 2021. Although the company does not foresee major immediate changes to its development plans in the D-J Basin due to COGCC regulations, it has acknowledged that future challenges in obtaining drilling permits could affect its operations there. 

Additionally, Occidental has significant interests further north, with over 300,000 net acres in the Powder River Basin, primarily located in Converse and Campbell counties, Wyoming.



  • Utah is ranked 12th in the nation for oil and gas production
  • 38,861 wells have been drilled in Utah in 2023
  • A total of 1,502 permits have been approved in Utah
  • Each well in Utah produces an average of 765 BOE
  • Currently, there are 59 active oil and gas producers in Utah


Top 10 Oil & Gas Producers by BOE in Utah (Sep 2023)


Producer Name


Monthly BOE Produced

Producing Wells


XCL Resources, LLC

Houston, TX

1.8M BBL



Middle Fork Energy Uinta, LLC

Denver, CO

1.3M BBL




Houston, TX




Caerus Uinta, LLC

Denver, CO

891.1K BBL



Elk Operating Services, LLC

Denver, CO

347.2K BBL



Urban Oil & Gas Group, LLC

Plano, TX

332.2K BBL




Fort Worth, TX

293K BBL




Denver, CO

217.4K BBL




Denver, CO

190.1K BBL




Bartlesville, OK

178.1K BBL



Total Wells: The number of total wells drilled in Utah remained unchanged at 38,861 from 2022 to 2023.

Total Producing Wells: A slight increase in the number of producing wells, from 11,721 in 2022 to 11,788 in 2023, reflecting a 0.57% growth.

Percentage of Wells Producing: The percentage of wells actively producing oil or gas stayed consistent at 30%, though this represents a minor increase in operational efficiency.

Active Producers: The number of active producers saw a decline, dropping from 63 in 2022 to 59 in 2023, a decrease of 6%.

Total Permits: A significant rise in the number of permits issued, from 660 in 2022 to 1,502 in 2023, marking a substantial increase of 128%.

Average BOE per Well: The average BOE per well increased from 648 in 2022 to 765 in 2023.



  • New Mexico is ranked #2 in the U.S. for oil and gas production
  • 113,607 wells drilled in 2023
  • New Mexico has approved 7,852 permits in 2023
  • Each well in New Mexico produces an average of 2,194 BOE
  • There are 262 active oil and gas producers currently operating in New Mexico
  • The average depth of an oil or gas well in New Mexico is 6,702 feet


In 2022, New Mexico was the second-largest crude oil producer in the United States, second only to Texas. It accounted for more than 13% of the nation’s total crude oil production and held about 11% of the U.S. proven crude oil reserves. That year, New Mexico’s oil production reached a record high of approximately 574 million barrels, nearly nine times higher than in 2010.

New Mexico is also among the top ten natural gas producers in the country. The major natural gas deposits are located in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the state, representing almost 6% of the U.S. proven natural gas reserves. In 2022, the state saw its annual natural gas production exceed 2.7 trillion cubic feet for the first time. 

Top 10 Oil & Gas Producers by BOE in New Mexico (Dec 2023)


Producer Name


Monthly BOE Produced

Producing Wells



Midland, TX

17.8M BBL




Oklahoma City, OK

10.1M BBL




Hobbs, NM

9.9M BBL




Houston, TX

7.1M BBL




Midland, TX

6.5M BBL




Dallas, TX

5.5M BBL




Midland, TX

4.8M BBL




Golden, CO

3.6M BBL




Houston, TX





Midland, TX

2.9M BBL



Total Wells: A slight increase in the total number of wells, from 112,981 in 2022 to 113,607 in 2023, marking a growth of 0.55%.

Total Producing Wells: The number of producing wells decreased from 48,878 in 2022 to 47,692 in 2023, a drop of 2.43%.

Percentage of Wells Producing: The proportion of wells that are producing dropped slightly from 43% in 2022 to 42% in 2023, a 3% decrease.

Active Producers: A significant reduction in the number of active producers, from 324 in 2022 down to 262 in 2023, representing a 19% decrease.

Total Permits: The total number of approved permits saw a substantial decrease, falling from 11,483 in 2022 to 7,852 in 2023, a reduction of 32%.

Average Well Depth: The average depth of wells drilled remained virtually unchanged, moving from 6,701 feet in 2022 to 6,702 feet in 2023.

Average BOE per Well: An increase in the BOE produced per well, from 1,969 in 2022 to 2,194 in 2023.


Natural gas production in the Rockies was at peak levels in fall 2023, mirroring a national trend, even as demand from western markets has decreased. This led to a significant increase in storage supplies and a decrease in prices. According to the latest report from EIA as of November 2023, inventory levels in the Mountain region are 23.5% above the five-year average, which is a much larger surplus than the national average of 8.6% and higher than any other region in the country. The Pacific region also reported a notable surplus, being the only other region with a double-digit percentage above the five-year average at 10%.

California, which typically relies on Rockies gas, has seen demand drop significantly below the average during the milder summer and fall months of 2023. Since mid-summer, California and other West Coast states have been actively increasing their gas storage levels, supported by supplies from the Permian Basin and steady imports from Canada. Canadian gas imports to the western U.S. have maintained around 5.5 Bcf/d throughout much of November and continued into December, matching or sometimes exceeding levels from the previous year.

In November, total natural gas production in the Lower 48 states reached a record high of over 106 Bcf/d and remained high into early December. This increase is in anticipation of new LNG facilities expected to start operating on the Gulf Coast in the latter half of 2024. Although export levels are strong, the surge in production has surpassed demand for much of the year, allowing utilities to inject substantial amounts of gas into storage during the late summer and early fall. By November 24, 2023, total domestic natural gas supply in storage was 303 billion cubic feet (Bcf) above the five-year average.


In the summer of 2023, the Rockies region saw strong demand for natural gas, which was further intensified by an early onset of wintry weather in October. Throughout the year, production was stable but saw a significant increase in the fall. This boost in production helped ease some of the pressure on the region's gas supply.

The timing of these changes was key, as it allowed storage levels to rise faster than they might have otherwise. Since demand from California was consistently low, even minor shifts in other factors had a larger impact on the market than expected.

North Dakota's natural gas production reached a record high in September and is expected to continue growing. This is due to new pipeline projects coming online, which will create more routes for gas to flow to the Mountain West. For example, in early November, North Dakota began sending natural gas to the Cheyenne hub in southeastern Wyoming for the first time.

TC Energy Corp. and Kinder Morgan Inc. are also working on the Bison Xpress/Bakken Express project, which is set to start in March 2026. This project will further increase the transport capacity from the Bakken Shale to Cheyenne.

However, East Daley Analytics’ Alex Gafford warned that severe winter weather could quickly deplete gas storage in the Mountain and Pacific regions, potentially causing prices in the Western Rockies to spike. 

In fact, an early cold front in October already caused a notable surge in natural gas prices across western U.S. markets. Prices in the Rockies notably fluctuated, with the price difference between the Opal hub in southwestern Wyoming and Cheyenne widening to $2.64/MMBtu on October 30. This kind of volatility is reminiscent of last winter when tight market conditions on the West Coast significantly drove up Opal prices, reaching an average high of $11.67 in January 2023.


Rocky Mountain natural gas producers are facing the risk of missing out on the lucrative LNG export market along Mexico's Pacific coast, a critical outlet for their otherwise landlocked gas resources. This development is partly due to the Biden administration’s temporary hold on new US LNG export approvals, according to Alex Gafford, a senior energy analyst at East Daley Analytics. With the expected slowdown in export capacity growth through 2030, there will be less demand for Rockies gas. As a result, other major gas-producing areas like the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, and Haynesville Shale are poised to fill the gap.

Gafford explains that Mexico is likely to source its LNG needs directly from the Permian Basin or combine it with gas from the Eagle Ford Shale. This new direction differs from late 2023 expectations, before the export pause, when East Daley predicted that up to 2 billion cubic feet per day from the Western Rockies, Texas' Barnett Shale, and Oklahoma's Anadarko Basin would be needed to meet the LNG supply gap.

At CERAWeek by S&P Global in Houston last week, developers of LNG projects in Mexico confirmed their preference for Permian gas. They cited several advantages: its low cost as a byproduct of oil drilling, proximity to Mexico’s west coast, and the region's vast and increasing gas output, which now stands at 24 billion cubic feet per day—approximately a quarter of the total US supply. 

Demand for natural gas from the Permian Basin is surging, driven by several key factors: expanding export pipelines, growing LNG exports, an increase in petrochemical industries, and a rising need for electricity, particularly from data centers. According to the IEA, data centers alone are expected to increase their share of U.S. electricity consumption from 4% in 2022 to 6% by 2026.

This boom in demand brings up a crucial question: Can the Permian Basin keep up with the needs of all these sectors, including the new LNG export terminals planned in Mexico? Pierce Norton, CEO of OneOK, confidently answers, "Yes, it’s going to be there." OneOK is currently developing the 2.8 Bcf/d Saguaro Pipeline, which will connect Permian gas to the upcoming Mexico Pacific’s 15 million ton per year (approximately 2.1 Bcf/d) LNG export facility in Sonora State. Norton also mentioned the possibility of supplementing this supply with gas from other regions like the Haynesville and Eagle Ford basins.

However, when asked whether Rockies gas could contribute to this mix, Norton was skeptical, stating, "I don't see that happening."

Sempra is actively expanding its infrastructure in Mexico, currently constructing the 3 million ton per year (0.4 Bcf/d) Energia Costa Azul export terminal slated to start operations next year. They are planning a 12 million ton per year (1.5 Bcf/d) expansion at the same site and developing another export terminal, the 4 million ton per year Vista Pacifico LNG in Sinaloa State.


In the Rocky Mountains, the struggle for gas producers isn’t just about falling demand; it's also about their dwindling output. While the Permian Basin’s production has soared, the Rockies have seen a stark decline. Specifically, dry gas production in regions like the Green River, Uinta, Piceance, San Juan, and Paradox basins dropped from 11.3 Bcf/d in 2010 to 6.6 Bcf/d in 2022.

Despite these setbacks, there's still optimism among Rockies producers. Andrew Browning, president of the Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative (WSTN), believes the Rockies can still capture international markets. He notes that unlike Permian gas, which is often a byproduct of oil drilling, Rockies gas is primarily sourced, making it less dependent on the volatile oil market and global political shifts. This could be a significant advantage as companies seek diverse supply sources.

Colorado and New Mexico are known for having some of the strictest methane regulations in the U.S., making their gas particularly appealing to foreign LNG buyers who are targeting net-zero emissions. Browning mentioned that WSTN has engaged in multiple discussions with Japanese and Korean officials to promote Rockies gas.

WSTN is also exploring opportunities to supply or collaborate with LNG facilities on the West Coast of Canada. Although there are no current plans for a direct pipeline to facilities like Shell-led LNG Canada, Browning points out that the production of these Canadian projects will reduce competition for Rockies gas. This, he suggests, could indirectly benefit the Rockies as these Canadian projects start operations next year.

If you are looking for more information about energy companies, their assets, and energy deals, please, contact our sales office, Tel. 619-349-4970 or SCHEDULE A DEMO to learn how Rextag can help you leverage energy data for your business.


Oil and Gas Industry of Wyoming: Basins, Counties, 2022 vs 2023 Review


In Wyoming during 2023, the oil and gas industry experienced various trends and developments. Wyoming ranked 8th nationally in both crude oil and natural gas production, significantly contributing to the economy through property and severance taxes. The state had a peak of 27,951 producing wells in 2022, including oil and gas wells, with 33 operating gas plants processing nearly 97% of the state's gas production. Notably, 21 of Wyoming's 23 counties produce oil and/or natural gas, with Converse County leading in crude oil production and Sublette County in natural gas production​​. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that crude oil production across the United States would increase to 12.8 million b/d in 2024. Throughout 2023, oil production in Wyoming showed an upward trend, with more than 95 million barrels expected to be produced, an increase of about 3 million barrels from 2022. This rise in oil production was partly attributed to the completion of 110 newly drilled oil wells in the first half of the year, mainly in the Powder River Basin. However, natural gas production faced a decline due to the aging of wells and a low number of new gas wells being completed. Only 18 new gas wells were finished in the first half of 2023, with a noted interest in drilling applications, suggesting potential future developments.

Western Expands Powder River Footprint with $885M Acquisition


Western Midstream will acquire Meritage Midstream's Powder River Basin assets, including gas gathering and an NGL pipeline, for $885 million in cash. A subsidiary of Western Midstream Partners LP is set to acquire Meritage Midstream Services II LLC in an $885 million all-cash transaction, marking a significant expansion in the Powder River Basin for the company.


Recently, the progress toward an energy transition is hitting a snag. Sales of electric vehicles are decelerating, and the growth in wind and solar power needs to be keeping pace with expectations. To make matters more challenging, electricity prices are climbing when they were expected to fall. Amidst these setbacks, the oil and gas sectors are proving resilient. According to BP's latest energy outlook, not only are these energy mainstays here to stay, but their demand is expected to remain relatively high even after reaching a peak. Interestingly, BP forecasts that oil demand will reach its zenith next year, marking a critical moment in energy consumption trends. This isn't the first time BP has projected a peak in oil demand. Back in 2019, their review anticipated a decline in demand growth, but the prediction fell flat. Instead, oil demand surged to unprecedented levels following the end of the global pandemic lockdowns, defying previous forecasts and underscoring the enduring dominance of traditional energy sources in the global market.


Texas energy companies are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Beryl, an early Category 5 hurricane, hit the U.S. Gulf Coast earlier this week. However, it weakened to Category 1 by the time it made landfall in Texas. The hurricane brought heavy rainfall and sparked fears of storm surges, flooding, and tornadoes. As Hurricane Beryl neared, the natural gas supply to Freeport LNG’s export facility in Texas nearly stopped the day before the storm struck. Houston was particularly hard-hit, with the storm knocking out power for two million residents. CenterPoint Energy, a key power provider in the area, felt the brunt of the hurricane but aimed to have power restored to half the affected customers by the following day.


The total number of drilling rigs actively exploring and producing oil and natural gas in the United States increased to 585 for the week ending July 5, up from 581 the previous week. Despite this recent uptick, the current count still falls short of last year's 680, indicating a slowdown in drilling activities. Analysts suggest that this reduction may reflect greater efficiency among shale producers, who now require fewer rigs. Nonetheless, concerns remain about whether some producers have enough viable drilling land

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