Wyoming’s oil and natural gas industry, which employs about one in five of the state’s total workforce, last year contributed an estimated 32% of the state’s total economic output, or $18.6 billion, 25% of total earnings and 43% of gross state product, according to a study by consultant Booz Allen Hamilton.

The study, commissioned by the Wyoming Heritage Foundation and launched in February, reported that the energy industry contributed $18.6 billion to the state’s total economic output in 2007. The economic contribution of the oil and gas industry to the state of Wyoming in 2007 was evaluated in terms of employment, income, gross revenues and taxes.

“Wyoming’s economy is directly and indirectly linked to and influenced by energy production and associated activities,” said Bill Schilling, president of the Wyoming Business Alliance and the Wyoming Heritage Foundation. He noted that new technologies to extract more coalbed methane gas and to improve fracing techniques, coupled with rising energy prices and increasing production, would have “long-lasting” impacts on the state’s economy.

According to the Energy Information Administration, Wyoming last year ranked third nationally for gross natural gas production and second in terms of marketed production for 2006. Wyoming’s record gas production last year totaled 2.253 Tcf and averaged 6.2 Bcf/d. Wyoming in 2007 also ranked seventh nationally in terms of crude oil production with output totaling 54 million bbl.

Oil and gas activities within the state employed more than 73,000 people in direct and downstream jobs during 2007, according to the study. Direct jobs associated with drilling support industries, extraction, wholesale trade and construction were estimated to be 20,090, with just under 18,000 associated specifically with the energy industry. Government employment associated with oil and gas activities (i.e., taxing, education, regulatory activities) accounted for 21,149 jobs.

The Booz Allen study estimated that in general, the energy activities, including private mineral royalty payments and extraction taxes and the associated downstream activity, generated estimated average earnings of $53,000, or 28% higher earnings than the state average.

The study is available at the Wyoming Business Alliance website: www.wba.vcn.com.

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