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A Brief Guide to Idaho Crude Oil Production

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A few years ago, Idaho officially became a crude oil-producing state. Other nearby states, such as Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, also produced gas and oil commercially, and the Gem State now helps the global demand for crude oil and gas and continues the energy renaissance.

Although Idaho’s crude oil barrels slowed after 2016, the United States still produced commercial quantities. In June 2018, the nation’s crude oil and natural gas production hit a new record. The energy renaissance is an American energy milestone, as our country produces four million barrels of natural gas a day. Idaho is actually the 31st state to produce oil and gas.

A Brief History of Crude Oil in Idaho

There was always interest in providing crude oil in Idaho; in the 70s and 80s, people thought the fields resembled Southern California—humid and wet. Before commercial production, Idaho relied on drilling. Originally, crude oil and natural gas reserves were limited. But the climate was ideal for oil production, so in 2014, the Willow Creek fields were tested for crude oil, though it wasn’t found until 2016.

Crude Oil Versus Natural Gas

It’s important to understand the difference between crude oil and natural gas. Both energy resources are fossil fuels that are used for transportation, though more vehicles rely on crude oil than natural gas. Plus, crude oil is cheaper than natural gas. On the other hand, when compared to crude oil, natural gas is cleaner because it produces less carbon dioxide.

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production

When extracting oil and gas, producers must be careful to drill in areas where people and private property will remain protected. Idaho law requires that production data must be released six months after the natural gas producer gives data from drilling to the state.

Crude Oil and Its Relationship to Gas Prices

Crude oil prices keep climbing, and gas prices increase with them. This is because the cost of crude oil primarily determines gas prices, and at many points in time, Idaho’s gas prices were among the highest in America. However, recently, they’ve been lower than the national average.