Thirty states, including Utah, shared almost $4.5 billion in federal minerals royalties and revenues during the 1980s, with Wyoming claiming $1.6 billion, or 36 percent of the total, according to the federal government.
Wyoming led all states in oil and coal production on federal lands during the decade and finished second to New Mexico in natural gas production, according to the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service."Mineral production in New Mexico and Wyoming dominated onshore lease activity during the decade," the agency said in summarizing minerals production and revenues during the 1980s. "The two states collectively received 61.7 percent of the $4.5 billion disbursed to 30 states during the period."
Under the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920, states whose borders encompass federal mineral leases share revenues from those operations. All states except Alaska split the revenues 50-50 with the federal government. Alaska receives 90 percent of the revenues after deduction of payments paid under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.
Second to Wyoming in total federal revenues for the decade was New Mexico, with $1.1 billion, or 25.5 percent of the total, followed by Colorado ($359.8 million, 8 percent); Utah ($354 million, 7.9 percent); California ($311.2 million, 6.9 percent); Montana ($196.6 million, 4.4 percent); Alaska ($174.5 million, 3.9 percent); Nevada ($86.4 million, 1.9 percent); and North Dakota ($70 million, 1.6 percent).
Twenty-one other states shared $163.1 million, or 3.7 percent of the total.
During the decade Wyoming produced 46.9 percent, or 707.4 million barrels, of the oil from federal lands, the MMS said. New Mexico was second in production, with 208.9 million barrels, or 13.9 percent of the total.
New Mexico led the nation in natural gas produced from federal lands during the 1980s with 5 billion mcf, or 51.6 percent of the total, and Wyoming was second with 2.5 billion mcf, or 25.8 percent, the agency said.
Coal production from federal lands grew greatly during the second half of the 1980s, with Wyoming leading the states in tonnage.