Wyoming

Land ownership

Natural resource extraction varies widely from state to state. In Wyoming, extractive industries accounted for 20.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, and jobs in the extractive industries made up 6.9% of statewide employment.

Wyoming leads the nation in production of:

  • Coal: 40.8% of U.S. Production

Natural resource ownership in the U.S. is closely tied to land ownership. Land can be owned by citizens, corporations, Indian tribes or individuals, or governments (for instance, federal, state, or local governments). Much of the data on this site is limited to natural resource extraction on federal land, which represents 48.1% of all land in Wyoming.

The state of Wyoming chose to participate in an extended reporting process, so this page includes additional state revenue and disbursements data, as well as contextual information about state governance of natural resources.

For a detailed view of how coal mining affects communities in Wyoming, read more about Campbell County.

Production

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue collects detailed data about natural resource production on federal land in Wyoming.

Downloads and documentation

Coal

273,457,717 tons of coal were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Campbell CountyCarbon CountyConverse CountyLincoln CountySweetwater County
County production of coal in 2017 (tons)

Gas

1,372,050,004 mcf of gas were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Albany CountyBig Horn CountyCampbell CountyCarbon CountyConverse CountyCrook CountyFremont CountyHot Springs CountyJohnson CountyLaramie CountyLincoln CountyNatrona CountyNiobrara CountyPark CountySheridan CountySublette CountySweetwater CountyUinta CountyWashakie CountyWeston County
County production of gas in 2017 (mcf)

Oil

39,108,821 barrels of oil were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Albany CountyBig Horn CountyCampbell CountyCarbon CountyConverse CountyCrook CountyFremont CountyHot Springs CountyJohnson CountyLaramie CountyLincoln CountyNatrona CountyNiobrara CountyPark CountySheridan CountySublette CountySweetwater CountyUinta CountyWashakie CountyWeston County
County production of oil in 2017 (bbl)

Purge Liquor

54,468 equivalent tons of purge liquor were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Sweetwater County
County production of purge liquor in 2017 (tons)

Salt

0 tons of salt were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Lincoln County
County production of salt in 2017 (tons)

Soda Ash

3,711,621 tons of soda ash were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Sweetwater County
County production of soda ash in 2017 (tons)

Sodium Bi-Carbonate

65,274 tons of sodium bi-carbonate were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Sweetwater County
County production of sodium bi-carbonate in 2017 (tons)

Sodium Sesquicarbonate

0 tons of sodium sesquicarbonate were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Sweetwater County
County production of sodium sesquicarbonate in 2017 (tons)

Trona Ore

0 tons of trona ore were produced on federal land in Wyoming in 2017.

County production

Sweetwater County
County production of trona ore in 2017 (tons)

Revenue

Companies pay a wide range of fees, rates, and taxes to extract natural resources in the United States. What companies pay to federal, state, and local governments often depends on who owns the natural resources.

Natural resource extraction can lead to federal revenue in two ways: non-tax revenue and tax revenue. Revenue data on this site primarily includes non-tax revenue from extractive industry activities on federal land.

Downloads and documentation

Revenue from production on federal land by resource

When companies extract natural resources on federal lands and waters, they pay royalties, rents, bonuses, and other fees, much like they would to any landowner. This non-tax revenue is collected and reported by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).

For details about the laws and policies that govern how rights are awarded to companies and what they pay to extract natural resources on federal land: coal, oil and gas, renewable resources, and hardrock minerals.

The federal government collects different kinds of fees at each phase of natural resource extraction. This chart shows how much federal revenue was collected in Calendar year (CY) 2017 for production or potential production of natural resources on federal land in Wyoming, broken down by phase of production.

Commodity1. Securing rights2. Before production3. During productionOther revenue
Oil and Gas
Oil & Gas
$762,210,669
$179,638,553$6,775,217Oil $207,383,962Gas $329,586,658NGL $26,000,474$12,825,805
Coal
Coal
$432,107,367
$0$530,387$427,495,146$4,081,834
Other products
Sodium
$33,258,975
$975,000$84$32,174,454$109,437
Sulfur
$39,688
$0$0$39,688$0
Carbon dioxide
$807,672
$0$0$807,672$0
All commodities
All commodities
$1,228,424,371
$180,613,553$7,305,687$1,023,488,054$17,017,077
Commodity1. Securing rightsCompanies pay bonuses or other fees to secure rights to resources on federal land2. Before productionCompanies pay rent on federal land while exploring for resources3. During productionCompanies pay royalties after production beginsOther revenueMinimum or estimated royalties, settlements, and interest payments
Oil and Gas
Oil & Gas
$762,210,669
$179,638,553$6,775,217Oil $207,383,962Gas $329,586,658NGL $26,000,474$12,825,805
OnshoreBonus: The amount offered by the highest bidder$1.50 annual rent per acre for 5 years
$2 annual rent per acre thereafter
12.5% of production value
Coal
Coal
$432,107,367
$0$530,387$427,495,146$4,081,834
Bonus: The amount offered by the highest bidder$3 annual rent per acreSurface mining: 12.5% of production value + $0.28 per ton in AML fees
Subsurface mining: 8% of production value + $0.12 per ton in AML fees
Other products
Hardrock Acquired lands$6,500 prospecting permit fee$37 annual rent per acre + $0.50 annual prospecting fee per acreRoyalty rates are determined by leasing officers on an individual case basis (no minimums apply)
All commodities
All commodities
$1,228,424,371
$180,613,553$7,305,687$1,023,488,054$17,017,077
Other revenue streams
Hardrock mining on public domain landsFederal revenue from hardrock mining on public domain land occurs through the claim-staking process and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). It is not included here, because the dataset does not have state-level data. Learn more about hardrock mining on federal land.
Onshore solar and wind energyFederal revenue from onshore renewable energy generation on federal land is not included here, because that dataset, from BLM, does not have state-level data. Learn more about onshore renewables on federal land.
To see how much was collected nationwide for all revenue types, including BLM revenues, see federal revenue by company.

Most non-tax revenue collected by ONRR comes from counties with significant natural resources on federal land.

Downloads and documentation

Wyoming revenue streams (2016)

In 2016, the state of Wyoming collected $2,126,209,645 in state revenue from natural resource extraction (this includes both tax and non-tax revenue). Counties also collect and distribute their own revenue from natural resource extraction.

Download: Wyoming revenue streams (PDF)

Revenue streamAmount collected
Total$2,126,209,645
$665,425,933
Ad valorem taxes are collected and distributed by counties.
$533,620,938
This figure is reported by Production Year, rather than Fiscal Year.
Federal Mineral Royalties$482,343,207
Federal Coal Lease Bonuses$219,581,963
State Royalties (In-Scope Commodities)$164,815,844
AML Fees$52,913,417
Wind Generation Tax$3,754,699
Special Use Lease & Wind Energy Lease$3,753,644

Disbursements

After collecting revenue from natural resource extraction, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue distributes that money to different agencies, funds, and local governments for public use. This process is called “disbursement.”

Most federal revenue disbursements go into national funds. For detailed data about which expenditures and projects from those national funds are in Wyoming, see nationwide federal disbursements.

ONRR also disburses some revenue from natural resource extraction to state governments. In 2018, ONRR disbursed $563,955,988 to Wyoming.

Downloads and documentation

Distribution of Wyoming state revenues (2016)

In 2016, the state of Wyoming distributed $2,126,209,645 in state revenue from natural resource extraction to state and local funds.

State fundDistribution
Total$2,126,209,645
Cities/Towns/Counties$706,592,752
Legislative Royalty Impact Assistance Account / Budget Reserve$299,085,414
Permanent Mineral Trust Fund$168,906,202
School Foundation$182,837,225
School District Capital Construction$215,827,963
General Fund$188,978,371
Permanent Land Funds (largely benefitting Common Schools)$151,509,283
WY Highway Fund$68,729,000
Abandoned Mine Land Funds Reserve Account$52,913,417
WY Water Development Account I$19,297,500
Capital Construction Account$16,661,500
Permanent Land Income Funds (largely benefitting Common Schools)$0
University of Wyoming$13,365,000
State Aid County Roads$4,495,000
Highway Fund County Roads$4,455,000
WY Water Development Account 2$3,255,000
Community Colleges$1,600,000
DEQ Leaking Underground Storage Tanks$9,865,813
WY Water Development Account 3$775,000

State governance

The state of Wyoming participated in additional reporting about state and local natural resource governance, revenues, and disbursements.

State agencies

The state of Wyoming regulates extraction and interacts with extractive industry companies in Montana, particularly when they're operating on state or private land.

The Wyoming Department of Revenue assesses, collects, manages, and distributes revenue from companies engaged in extraction of oil, natural gas, coal, and other natural resources in Wyoming. At the local level, county governments directly collect ad valorem taxes related to extraction. The Department of Revenue publishes:

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ensures that oil and gas wells and operations comply with state environmental laws, as well as regulating mining activities on state land. It publishes rules and regulations, and its activities include:

  • Permitting all oil and gas wells
  • Maintaining well records
  • Performing field inspections
  • Performing orphan well plugging
  • Holding reclamation bonds on mine operations

The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments leases, controls, and collects royalties from mineral extraction on state trust land.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) leads activities to conserve the environment and support responsible stewardship of Wyoming’s resources. DEQ’s permitting process covers all activities associated with mining, from exploration to reclamation commitments.

  • The Air Quality Division issues air quality permits, particularly in the Upper Green River Basin.
  • The Water Quality Division works to ensure the proper disposal of wastewater, and monitors water quality. It also permits underground injections of wastewater, reclaims discharge impoundments related to coal bed methane production, and works with the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Land Quality Division to regulate underground wastewater injection through the Underground Injection Control Program. The Water Quality Division also maintains its own list of rules and regulations.
  • The Solid and Hazardous Waste Division inspects hazardous waste storage and disposal.
  • The Land Quality Division regulates surface mining operations and surface operations for underground mines, works to ensure reclamation following mining, establishes reclamation bond amounts, and holds reclamation bonds on mine operations. It publishes annual reports that include bond amounts.
  • The Abandoned Mine Land Division administers the federal AML program for coal and select hardrock reclamation projects.

The Wyoming State Geological Survey also provides geological information about natural resources.

State laws and regulations

Wyoming’s constitution includes an article governing mining, Article 9, which created the Office of the Inspector of Mines and a school of mines, directs the legislature to provide for the development and operation of mines, and secures the right of action for injuries.

The Wyoming Statutes Annotated have several sections that govern natural resource extraction, including:

  • Title 30: Mines and Minerals
  • Title 39: Taxation (including ad valorem taxes and the Mine Product Tax)
  • Title 36: State Lands (including mineral leasing)
  • Title 35, Chapter 11 (from the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act): Air, water, and land quality, as well as abandoned mine land reclamation and orphan site remediation (see articles 2-4, 12, and 17)

Wyoming rules and regulations are maintained by the Office of the Secretary of State, which publishes a rules search tool for finding rules by department or topic.

Fiscal costs of extractive activity

In addition to generating revenue and economic activity, extractive industries can bring costs to state and local communities.

In Wyoming, analysis of those costs has centered on Campbell County (coal production) and Sublette County (oil & gas production):

  • The Campbell County case study provides a holistic look at the impact of extractive industries in the northeastern part of the state.
  • Most information about socioeconomic impacts in Sublette County and its municipalities comes from the 2009 Sublette County Socioeconomic Impact Study (PDF). This report, which was commissioned by Sublette County Commissioners, focuses on whether revenues returned to and retained by Sublette County are sufficient, rather than whether enough state or local taxes are paid by the companies participating in extraction.

Transportation costs

In the 2010 Campbell County Coal Belt Transportation Study (PDF), Campbell County and the Wyoming Department of Transportation estimated that county roads would require $43.9 million in investment between 2010 and 2015 to support coal extraction.

Traffic increased 86% in Sublette County and its municipalities from 2000 to 2007, largely due to natural resource extraction. In 2009, they estimated that projected road improvement projects would total $87.5 million from 2009 to 2012 and beyond. The self-contained nature of large coal mining operations in Sublette County contributes to higher transportation costs compared to Campbell County.

Water costs

In Sublette County, natural resource extraction has led to population growth, which has increased demands on existing water systems. The town of Marbleton also drilled an additional water well to provide domestic and commercial water due to increased demand.

See state agencies for information about statewide water management.

Emergency services

Population growth due to increased natural resource extraction can increase demands on the medical, fire, and police services of states, counties, and towns.

Prior to 2001, the Sublette County Rural Health Care District had two all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units. By 2006, the district had hired 25 full-time emergency medical technicians. From 2001 to 2007, EMS runs increased 116% for the Pinedale facility and 94.47% for the Marbleton-Big Piney facility. To serve the Jonah gas field and the South Anticline, the district built a new EMS facility in 2007 at Sand Draw. Local industry paid for $900,000 of the cost of the facility, with the county paying $500,000.

Reclamation costs

Wyoming has been “certified” by the federal Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation program, meaning it has reclaimed its identified high-priority abandoned coal mine areas. It also means AML funds, which are sourced from fees paid by coal mine operators, can be used for a wider range of purposes beyond reclamation, including abandoned hardrock mine sites. The program currently estimates that Wyoming has $77 million in unreclaimed coal AML sites and $18 million in unreclaimed non-coal AML sites (such as uranium mining sites). To learn more about recently completed projects and projects underway, search for Wyoming Annual Evaluation Reports in the OSMRE Oversight Document Database.

See state agencies for additional statewide reclamation activities.