Welcome

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The Utah Petroleum Association (UPA) welcomes you to our website. Our member companies find, develop, produce, transport, refine and deliver the oil and natural gas resources that you, your family, and your business use each and every day. We keep you warm and moving. We do it in a safe, environmentally responsible way. We provide high paying, quality jobs to thousands of Utahns and provide economic development and substantial tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.
April 22nd Uinta Basin Community Outreach Forum
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As development has increased in the Uinta Basin, so has the need to reach out to the the local community to answer important questions about the industry and help bring a level of comfort with what the industry does and represents in Uintah and Duchesne Counties. UPA, and Member Companies, are committed to be good neighbors and work to build and maintain the relationships that will allow our industry to flourish and provide the jobs and economic development the Basin needs in a way that local residents understand and accept. For that purpose, we've instituted a series of quarterly Community Outreach Forums to bring industry and the community together to talk about the important issues we all face.
This Week
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Refinery Environmental Subcommittee
April 8 / 11:30 a.m. / Sinclair
Refinery PSM Subcommittee
April 10 / 11:00 a.m.
Waxy Crude Workshop
April 10 / 9:00 a.m. / Uintah Basin ATC, Vernal

Key Issues

Air Quality
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Clean air and a healthy environment are important to us all. Our industry considers our environmental stewardship among our highest of priorities.
Gas Prices
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Fuel prices affect us all. Whether you drive for a living or hardly at all, the price of gasoline plays a key role in our family budgets.
Tier III Fuels
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EPA's proposed Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standard rule is designed to reduce air pollution from passenger cars and trucks.
Did You Know?
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All the crude oil refined in Utah comes from North America - mainly the Intermountain West including Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana and North Dakota. A small percentage is imported from Canada.

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In 2011, Utah ranked 10th among states in natural gas production and 13th in oil production. For the same year, Utah ranked 8th in oil wells drilled and 10th in natural gas wells drilled.

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One barrel of crude oil, when refined, produces about 19 gallons of finished motor gasoline, and 10 gallons of diesel, as well as other petroleum products.

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In 2011, about 22% of the U.S. crude oil imports came from the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Our five biggest sources of crude oil were:
- Canada (29%)
- Saudi Arabia (14%)
- Venezuela (11%)
- Nigeria (10%)
- Mexico (8%)

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In 2012, Utah operators produced 490,535,643 Mcf of natural gas – an all-time high. Utah operators also produced 30,189,170 barrels of oil – the highest total since 1988.

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In 2011, Utah’s refineries produced over 1.1 billion gallons of gasoline – that’s over 3.1 million gallons per day. They also produced over 1.6 billion gallons of diesel, jet fuel and other products.

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In 2011, Utah drivers used over 1.04 billion gallons of gasoline – that’s over 2.87 million gallons per day. For perspective, that’s almost 4.5 Olympic size swimming pools full of gasoline every day.

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11 of Utah’s 29 counties have oil or gas production. Uintah is the largest natural gas producing county while Duchesne County produces the most oil.

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Utah’s refineries supply jet fuel to both the Salt Lake International Airport and Hill Air Force Base and are a significant reason these two world-class facilities are successful in Utah.

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Edwin Drake dug the first oil well in 1859 and distilled the petroleum to produce kerosene for lighting. Drake had no use for the gasoline or other products, so he discarded them. It wasn't until 1892 with the invention of the automobile that gasoline was recognized as a valuable fuel. By 1920, there were 9 million vehicles on the road powered by gasoline, and service stations were popping up everywhere.

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Crude oil was first produced in Utah in 1907, and natural gas production dates back even further – clear back to 1886.

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The main difference between winter- and summer-grade gasoline is their vapor pressure. Gasoline vapor pressure is important for an automobile engine to work properly. During cold winter months, vapor pressure must be high enough for the engine to start easily.

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In 2011, oil production in Utah came from federal lands (39.5%), Native American lands (34.7%), state lands (7.2%) and fee lands (private) (18.5%).

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The modern petroleum industry began in 1859, when the American oil pioneer E. L. Drake drilled a producing well on Oil Creek in Pennsylvania at a place that later became Titusville.

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Crude oil is called "sweet" when it contains only a small amount of sulfur and "sour" if it contains a lot of sulfur. Crude oil is also classified by the weight of its molecules. "Light" crude oil flows freely like water, while "heavy" crude oil is thick like tar.

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Crude oil prices are determined by worldwide supply and demand. On the demand side of the equation, world economic growth is the biggest factor. Growing economies require energy, and oil accounts for over 35% of the world’s total energy consumption. Retail pump prices reflect these costs, as well as the profits (and sometimes losses) of refiners, marketers, distributors and retail station owners.

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In 2011, natural gas production in Utah came from federal lands (53.7%), Native American lands (8.1%), state lands (31.1%) and fee lands (private) (7.1%).

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In 2010, Utah oil and gas producers paid over 375 million dollars in royalties, bonuses and rents from production on Utah’s federal lands. Utah receives 48% of that money back from the federal government.

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Worldwide consumption of petroleum was 87.3 million barrels per day in 2011. The three largest consuming countries were:
- United States (18.8 million barrels per day)
- China (9.8 million barrels per day)
- Japan (4.5 million barrels per day)

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Oil is measured in barrels (42 gallons) while natural gas is measured in Mcf (1,000 cubic feet).

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The year of highest crude oil production in Utah history was 1975. Natural gas production was highest just last year in 2012. The deepest well ever drilled in Utah was 21,874 feet deep. That’s over 4 miles down. The deepest producing oil well in Utah is 20,600 feet. The deepest producing natural gas well is 17,500 feet.

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33 of the 50 states have at least some oil or gas production. Texas is the highest producer for both crude oil and natural gas.

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Petroleum, which is Latin for “rock oil,” is a fossil fuel, meaning it was made naturally from decaying prehistoric plant and animal remains. It is a mixture of hundreds of different hydrocarbon molecules containing hydrogen and carbon that exist sometimes as a liquid (crude oil) and sometimes as a vapor (natural gas).

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Because natural gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, mercaptan (a chemical that smells like sulfur) is added before distribution, to give it a distinct unpleasant odor (it smells like rotten eggs). This added smell serves as a safety device by allowing it to be detected in the atmosphere, in cases where leaks occur.

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One barrel of oil accounts for about 19.15 gallons of gasoline, 9.21 gallons of diesel, 3.82 gallons of jet fuel, 1.75 gallons of heating oil and about 7.3 gallons for other petrochemical products like tar, asphalt, bitumen, etc.

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"Biofuels" are transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel that are made from biomass materials. These fuels are usually blended with the petroleum fuels — gasoline and diesel fuel, but they can also be used on their own.

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Everyday products we all use like fertilizers, plastics, car tires, ammonia, perfumes and even bubble gum are synthesized using petroleum products obtained during the crude oil refining process.

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A 42-U.S. gallon barrel of crude oil provides about 45 gallons of petroleum products. This gain from processing the crude oil is similar to what happens to popcorn, which gets bigger after it is popped.

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93% of the oil processed at Utah’s refineries comes from domestic sources. 7% is imported from Canada.

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Every gallon of gasoline you buy in Utah has 43.9¢ per gallon of federal and state taxes. The state gasoline tax is 24.5¢ per gallon and the federal excise tax is currently 18.4¢ per gallon. That money goes mainly to pay for highway construction and maintenance.

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In 2012 there was an average of 37 drilling rigs operating in Utah at any given time. Each rig employs between 100-150 people.

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In 2010, there were 10,922 producing wells in Utah. 3,885 of them were oil wells with the remainder, 7,037, being natural gas wells.

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In 2012 there were 2,103 drilling permits issued in Utah with 1,098 wells spudded (commenced).

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Some retail outlets are owned and operated by refiners, while others are independent businesses that purchase gasoline from refiners and marketers for resale to the public.

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The main ingredient in natural gas is methane, a gas (or compound) composed of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.

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Utah has five petroleum refineries with a combined crude oil capacity of approximately 170,000 barrels per day. For comparison, the ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown, Texas, is the largest-capacity refinery in the U.S. at over 560,000 barrels per day.

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In the United States, stringent emission standards have been adopted with the transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). In June 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reduced the allowable level of sulfur in highway diesel fuel by 97%, as part of a program to reduce emissions from trucks and buses. The same standard is now phasing in for diesel fuel used by non-road engines, trains, and marine vessels, with complete phase-in scheduled for 2014.

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In 2011, of all energy consumed in Utah, 97.4% was from fossil fuels (39.8% coal, 32.6% petroleum, 25.0% natural gas). 2.6% of the energy used came from renewable sources.

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Utah’s petroleum industry provides over 18,000 direct jobs with many thousands more working in related and support industries.

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Crude oil ranges in consistency from water to a nearly solid state. In Utah, crude oil ranges from lighter, sweeter crude oil from the central part of the State to highly paraffinic “black wax” and “yellow wax” from the Uintah Basin.