Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Industry Profile: Oil and Gas Extraction in Utah

Tyson Smith, Regional Economist

Oil and natural gas production in the United States has been booming in recent years, and it looks like 2014 will be a banner year for the U.S. oil and gas industry. Domestic crude oil production reached a 27 year high in July and a September report from BP asserts that the U.S. has become the global leader in natural gas production. In 2011, the United States was the third largest producer of crude oil behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. The impact of the oil and gas boom has been felt here in Utah as well.

The oil and gas industry plays an important role in the Utah economy, especially in the eastern region of the state. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Utah ranked 11th in U.S. crude oil production and 10th in gross natural gas production in 2011. The fact that oil and gas industry employment in Utah equates to approximately five-tenths-of-one percent of total payroll employment understates its value to the economy – especially in the oil and gas communities of eastern Utah. The wages paid to workers in the industry far exceed the average state wage, and the export value of these natural resources contributes significantly to Utah’s gross domestic product.

The infographic below provides some of the most relevant data specific to Utah’s oil and gas production and extraction industry employment.

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