Niobrara

Stephanie Joyce

Wyoming’s Powder River Basin is getting renewed attention from oil and gas companies. The region has been producing oil for decades, but now companies are looking to tap some of the Basin’s old reserves using new techniques, like horizontal drilling and fracking.

As analyst Raoul LeBlanc, with IHS Energy, explained in a video blog last week, his firm thinks the Basin could have as much potential as some of the much better-known plays in North Dakota and Texas.

A federal report possibly linking groundwater pollution to hydraulic fracturing in central Wyoming is not discouraging hopes for the Niobrara oil play in the southeast part of the state.

Many are questioning the scientific conclusions of the Environmental Protection Agency findings on the technique to extract oil and gas.

But both EPA and industry representatives say the specific concerns raised in the report are not applicable to southeast Wyoming. That is because the Niobrara formation is geologically much different than the Pavillion area.

The UW American Heritage Center is asking Wyoming residents for input about the energy boom in eastern Wyoming, for a history project. 

Archivist Leslie Waggener says they’re interested in hearing from residents of Platte, Goshen and eastern Laramie counties about the potential oil boom surrounding drilling in the Niobrara formation.  She plans on asking a number of questions: "How are they preparing?  What help do they need?  What help do they need from the state?  What help do they need from the industry?  How is that back and forth going with the various players?"