Special Report

The 10 Most Oil-Rich States

10. Louisiana
> Proved oil reserves: 463 million barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 22.1 trillion cubic feet (4th most)
> Energy consumption per capita: 427.1 million BTUs (8th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 19 (2nd most)

Louisiana’s proven oil reserves totaled 463 million barrels in 2012, up 11% from the year before and 10th most nationwide. The state’s 19 oil refineries are capable of processing roughly 3.3 million barrels of oil per day, second only to Texas. While living in an oil-rich state does not guarantee lower-than-average gas prices, a gallon of gas in Louisiana cost $3.43 as of mid-July, according to AAA, among the lowest and compared to a U.S. average of $3.60 per gallon. Total annual crude oil production has fallen dramatically in the past decade, from more than 90 million barrels in 2003 to nearly 72 million barrels last year. Still, this was more than all but six other states.

9. Utah
> Proved oil reserves: 613 million barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 7.8 trillion cubic feet (10th most)
> Energy consumption per capita: 471.3 million BTUs (5th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 5 (6th most)

Utah had 613 million barrels of proven reserves as of 2012, up nearly 22% from the year before. Additionally, the state produced 35 million barrels of oil in 2013, among the higher production volumes in the country. In addition to its proven reserves, production in Utah could increase in the coming years as oil companies explore ways to tap into oil resources contained in the Green River Formation, which is estimated to hold more oil shale than Saudi Arabia. Most of this oil, however, is likely unrecoverable due to technological and cost constraints, and is therefore not included in reserves.

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8. Colorado
> Proved oil reserves: 618 million barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 21.7 trillion cubic feet (5th most)
> Energy consumption per capita: 279.9 million BTUs (19th lowest)
> Number of operating refineries: 2 (tied, 17th most)

Colorado’s proven oil reserves increased by 46% between 2011 and 2012. In addition to increasing reserves, production also rose by more than 30% between 2012 and 2013, driven by increasing activity in the Niobrara Formation, which spans the eastern third of the state. Discoveries in Colorado included five million barrels from new oil fields, as well as 184 million barrels from existing sources of oil in 2012. Colorado is not just oil rich. The state also contains the fifth-most natural gas proved reserves in the country. Tapping into its reserves, natural gas production has doubled in the past decade through 2013, according to the EIA. Additionally, Colorado’s recoverable coal reserves were estimated in 2012 at nearly 10 billion short tons, the eighth highest figure in the country.

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