Energy and Natural Resources
Office of Energy Development
Energy development is an economic sector in which deep wells and shales are drilled and fractured, fossilized carbon is crushed and burned, steel towers are marched across counties and states, and countless technologies are deployed in buildings or across the landscape. This breadth of energy development activity has a profound impact on Utah, and its role in the State’s economy is growing. The expansion and diversification of energy production and generation in the State will not only create new jobs and revenues in rural communities, but will also bolster the economy as a whole by helping to maintain the stable and low energy prices that fuel the broader business and industrial sectors. Please visit the Governor’s Office of Energy Development’s website for more detailed information on energy development in Utah.
Utah’s Energy Resources
In the realms of conventional and unconventional fossil resources, Utah’s energy portfolio includes coal, petroleum, natural gas, oil shale and oil sands, uranium and other niche resources. The state’s renewable energy resources include hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind and various types of biomass. Further, both the state and its regulated utilities consider energy efficiency and conservation as a resource to be developed and expanded as well.
Currently, over 98% of the energy produced in Utah is derived from oil, gas and coal, but unconventional and renewable energy resources provide significant potential for growth.
In the realm of Utah’s unconventional energy resources, which include oil shale, oil sands and uranium, Utah has among the largest recoverable deposits of those resources in the world. The development of these resources could greatly enhance both the State’s economy and the nation’s energy security goals.
Utah also boasts significant high value renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass. Not only do these resources add value and resiliency through their low carbon-intensity, their distributed nature, and their fixed generation cost over time, but they also provide rural communities with profound economic development opportunities.
Utah’s energy production was valued at $4.7 Billion in 2012.
Energy development created $587 Million in state and local revenues.
Energy development accounts for 17,240 direct jobs in Utah.
Energy development provides between 35-83% of all property tax revenue in more than a half-dozen Utah counties.
The state of Utah is ranked 11th in the country in crude oil production and 10th in natural gas gross production (Energy Information Administration; rankings based on 2012 oil and natural gas production, not including Federal Offshore production areas).
There are approximately 11,600 wells currently in production within the state.
Approximately 4,600 producing oil wells and
7,000 producing natural gas wells
Utah ranks first among states in oil shale and oil sands reserves.
Utah ranks third in geothermal production nationally.
Utah has had consistently low electricity and natural gas prices. The State had the fourth lowest average electricity prices in the nation in 2011. In 2013:
Utah’s residential electricity rate was 10.49 cents/kWh (14 percent lower than the national average)
Commercial rates were 8.46 cents/kWh 18 percent lower than the national average
Industrial rates were 5.99 cents/kWh 13 percent lower than the national average
Governor’s Energy Plan
On June 8, 2010, Governor Herbert launched the formal planning process which resulted in the creation of his 10-Year Strategic Energy Plan, which was published in March, 2011. Here’s the most updated version of the 10-Year Strategic Energy Plan, which is a regularly updated, living document.
For more information, visit the Office of Energy Development at energy.utah.gov.
Governor’s Energy Development Summit
In 2012 the Office of Energy Development hosted the first annual Governor’s Energy Development Summit, hosting approximately 1,000 attendees in its first year, and drawing dozens of industry sponsors. The Summit was a great success, serving as a meeting place and display case for business, an educational opportunity for nonprofits and the public, and a policy-incubator for state legislators and others.
The Summit, which OED hosts at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, grew to 1,400 attendees in its second year (2013), and again received high praise from all those involved, including Utah’s federal delegation and, of course, Governor Gary R. Herbert. Moving forward, OED will continue to host the Summit, with the objective of securing its place as the region’s most important and productive energy conference.
The first day of the 2014 Summit will include an evening reception and energy-related tradeshow with vendors. The second day will be a full exhibit day and will include the Governor’s address, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and tradeshow exhibits. An estimated 1,500 attendees are expected to participate in the 2014 Summit as it expands to a regional focus, welcoming participants from surrounding Western states. Learn More