Utah is one of only a handful of states to be blessed with companies involved in all sectors of the petroleum industry. Utah’s abundant natural resources support an active oil and gas exploration and production industry. Midstream oil and gas processing and transportation is an important sector of Utah’s economy. Utah’s five petroleum refineries manufacture fuels that Utahns depend on every day. Nearly 2,000 retail gas stations provide finished products to consumers.
Courtesy of Utah's Office of Energy Development, their latest installment, "Energy Success Stories: Energy Production from Field to Pump," explores the life cycle of one of Utah's most precious resources - oil.
From discovering where to drill, to extracting and shipping crude, to refining the commodity through clean fuel technology, this segment tracks the process from start to finish, featuring the University of Utah's renowned Energy & Geoscience Institute, Integrated Energy Companies, D&A McRae Transportation and Tesoro.
Utah has a long, rich history of oil and gas development. From very early on, Utah’s pioneer ancestors realized that oil and natural gas resources were prevalent across the State. Since those early days, the petroleum industry has been an integral part of the State’s development. From the earliest small discoveries to the current booming development, oil and gas exploration and development as well as petroleum refining have been a cornerstone of Utah’s economy, providing jobs and revenue to families, communities and the State.
Over the past 125 years, oil and gas companies and prospectors have drilled more than twenty-two thousand wells in Utah in hopes of striking it rich. Many of the early wells turned out to be dry. Today the industry uses sophisticated technologies and tried-and-true techniques to find oil and gas under the earth’s surface. More recently, scientific techniques and new technologies have greatly improved the odds. Before drilling begins, we use topographical maps, aerial photography, sound waves, 3D projections and other tools to help us form an educated guess about the size, shape and consistency of the oil or natural gas that lies underneath.
Utah is a significant producer of both oil and natural gas with the prospects to play an even bigger role nationwide. Utah ranks 10th nationally in natural gas production and 11th for oil production. Significant investment and new technologies are pushing Utah's production totals consistently higher.
The midstream sector of the oil and gas industry is made up of companies involved in gathering, processing, transportation, and marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), condensate and crude oil. A safe and efficient transportation system of both unrefined and refined petroleum products is critical to the success of both the upstream and downstream sectors of Utah’s petroleum industry.
Crude oil produced in Utah and surrounding states is refined in the Salt Lake area to produce products we use every day in our own lives. Utah has five petroleum refineries with a combined daily processing capability of about 170,000 barrels of oil. Combined they manufacture enough fuels to keep Utah moving and help sustain our way of life.
Almost all Utahns interact often with a fuel marketer. These local gas stations can be independently owned and operated or part of a national chain. They deliver fuel to consumers and are the end of an amazing chain that bring Utah's natural resources full circle to the benefit of Utah drivers.