In the U.S., private individuals can own subsurface minerals, allowing people to sell, extract and explore an area for minerals without government approval. Owning land does not necessarily mean you own the minerals beneath your property’s surface. Sometimes, mineral rights are sold separately from the land’s property rights — known as a split estate.
This is also the case in the Cowboy State of Wyoming. Split estates are prevalent in Wyoming because of the land’s natural resources. Wyoming is rich in natural oil and gas deposits, making mineral ownership in the region especially lucrative and desirable.
Are you interested in selling your minerals or mineral royalties in Wyoming? Contact us today for a free valuation.
Wyoming Oil and Gas Resources
Wyoming contains a number of oil and gas fields and basins that produce a significant amount of hydrocarbons. These basins spread throughout the state – in fact, 21 out of 23 counties in Wyoming are oil and gas producers!
Altogether, Wyoming contains around 943 million barrels of oil, which translates to about 2.4% of U.S. oil reserves. Additionally, Wyoming contains an excess of dry natural gas, equal to about 4.9% of dry natural gas in the U.S.
Wyoming Oil and Gas Industry
Wyoming ranked eighth nationally in crude oil and natural gas production in 2021, making the oil and gas industry the biggest in the state. Around 20,000 Wyoming residents work in the oil and gas industry, contributing $1.23 billion to the state government in 2020.
Out of the hundreds of holes drilled in Wyoming, 50% found oil, and 37% found gas. According to these figures, the Wyoming oil and gas industry is the most profitable sector in the state. As a result, owning mineral rights in Wyoming is especially lucrative. Mineral ownership has previously led to clashes between landowners and mineral rights owners over the years because of the potential profit margins.
Most Important Regions in Wyoming
In Wyoming, certain regions contain more gas and oil than others which can be traced back to ancient shallow seas. Some areas in Wyoming that are rich in oil and gas include:
- Powder River Basin: Although known more commonly for its coal deposits (it supplies about 40% of coal in the U.S), the “PRB” has become a significant horizontal oil play and is home to some of the US’ top operators.
- The Bighorn Basin: This basin is in north-central Wyoming. It is a significant petroleum source, as it has produced more than 1.4 billion barrels of oil since the 20th century.
- Wind River Basin: This basin is located in central Wyoming, and is home to Wyoming’s first oil well (Mike Murphy #1), containing over 60 oil and gas fields.
- Greater Green River Basin: This basin is in southwestern Wyoming and boasts 30 different natural gas fields, namely the Jonah Field, Pinedale Anticline, Washakie Basin, Moxa Arch.
If you own mineral rights in one of these regions, they may be valuable on the open market. A mineral rights valuation will help you determine how much your minerals are worth.
Additional Wyoming Mineral Rights Facts
- Wyoming’s oil reserves make up 2% of all U.S. oil reserves.
- The first oil well in Wyoming was drilled in 1884.
- The first refinery built in Wyoming was in Casper and began producing crude oil in 1895.
How to Find Mineral Rights Ownership in Wyoming
If you’re a Wyoming resident and don’t know if you own your mineral rights underneath your land or need to know how to sell your mineral rights, let us help! At Flat River Minerals, we specialize in the mineral industry, so you can count on us to dig up any information about your mineral rights.
To determine if you have mineral rights in Wyoming, you will need to conduct a mineral rights search. If you are a Wyoming mineral rights owner and want to know how much your minerals are worth, you can contact us for a free valuation.
Keep your minerals in Wyoming and fill out one of our free mineral rights search forms to start your search today!