Economic Analysis Division Releases Insights for Energy and Business
The Wyoming Economic Analysis Division released June insights on the state's economic indicators for energy and business.
Highlights from the report show that oil prices decreased slightly; natural gas prices hover around $2/MMBtu.
"The West Texas Intermediate monthly average price for crude oil was $70.25 per bbl. in June," said Dylan Bainer, principal economist for the state's Economic Analysis Division. Average active oil rigs were 16 in June and the conventional gas rig count was 2. A year ago, there were 17 oil rigs and 3 conventional gas rigs.
"Natural gas spot prices at the national benchmark (Henry Hub) increased slightly," Bainer said. "Spot prices at the Opal Hub, which mostly reflect markets in the west (particularly California), also saw a minor increase compared to last month." The June 2023 natural gas price at the Opal Hub averaged $2.12 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), $0.23 higher than the May 2023 average. The Henry Hub natural gas price averaged $2.19/MMBtu in June, $0.05 higher than last month.
The report states that the mining sector sales and use tax revenue continue to improve.
"June sales & use tax collections from the mining sector were up $1.9 million (+24.0%) year-over-year," according to Bainer. This is the 22nd consecutive month mining sector collections have increased year-over-year. Total collections summed to $75.6 million, $6.4 million (+9.2%) more than June last year.
Oil & Gas Employment is still down compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels, but is slowly improving.
"Oil & Gas employment in the state numbered 9,100 jobs in May 2023, 700 more than May last year," said Bainer. Before the Covid-19 pandemic started to have a large impact on the economy in April of 2020, oil & gas employment in the state numbered nearly 12,000 jobs.
The report also noted that mining jobs are also down compared to pre-pandemic Levels.
"Relative to February 2020 (before the pandemic hit the labor market in March 2020), total employment has returned to pre-covid levels, but employment in the mining sector has still not fully recovered, " said Bainer. Compared to February 2020, employment in the mining sector in May 2023 was down 2,700 jobs.