Special Report

The 10 Most Oil-Rich States

10. Louisiana
> Proved oil reserves:
503 million barrels
> Total crude oil production: 68 million barrels (9th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 19 (2nd most)
> Unemployment rate: 6.4% (18th highest)

Louisiana’s proven oil reserves totaled 503 million barrels, up 8.6% from the year before and the 10th most in the country. Hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as fracking, was likely a factor in the state’s increased proven reserves. In fact, while no new fields were discovered in Louisiana in 2013, extensions — newly accessible reserves that are attributed to an existing oil field — contributed 47 million barrels of oil to the state’s proven reserves, the ninth most in the country. Despite identifying new reserves, however, the state’s oil production fell 4.5% in 2013 and is down 35% since 2000. By contrast, oil production across the country is up nearly 50% since 2000.

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9. Utah
> Proved oil reserves:
613 million barrels
> Total crude oil production: 40 million barrels (11th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 5 (tied-5th most)
> Unemployment rate: 3.8% (4th lowest)

Utah’s proven oil reserves were unchanged in 2013 at 613 million barrels, despite adding 46 million barrels of oil through extensions. However, the state’s production of crude oil has increased more than 160% since 2000, significantly higher than the 50% increase in production nationwide. Advances in oil extraction from shale may dramatically increase the state’s oil reserves in the future. The Green River Formation, a shale deposit under Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, contains roughly 3 trillion barrels of oil. If even half of the oil shale in the Green River Formation is recoverable, a consistent estimate among analysts, the oil field would double the world’s proven oil reserves.

8. Wyoming
> Proved oil reserves:
723 million barrels
> Total crude oil production: 76 million barrels (8th highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 6 (4th most)
> Unemployment rate: 4.3% (8th lowest)

Roughly one in 10 workers in Wyoming were employed in the mining and logging industry, the highest share of any state in the country. High employment in the industry may be due to the state’s rapid energy sector growth. In 2013, Wyoming’s GDP grew 5.1%, of which 3.5 percentage points were attributed to the mining sector, the second largest contribution from that sector in the country. In 2013, 100 million barrels were added to the state’s proven reserves from extensions of existing fields, the sixth most in the country. The state’s oil production has grown steadily in the last five years, increasing at a compounded annual rate of 8.1%, just lower than the 10.3% nationwide growth.

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