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Gas prices pace Wyo's revenue income

Gas prices pace Wyo's revenue income

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gas prices pace Wyo's revenue income
By Wyoma Groenenberg - Wyoming Business Report

The price differential of natural gas and the State of Wyoming’s predictions, although small, has been the main reason why state revenues have been outpacing projections this year, according to the July 2011 issue of the Wyoming Insight.

“The price of natural gas remains ahead, but very close, to state projections,” said Jim Robinson, senior economist for the state’s Economic Analysis Division.

The Opal Hub, which serves as the state’s benchmark, has averaged $4.13 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) through July 21, 2011, while the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group’s estimate for the year is $3.90 per mcf, Robinson noted. To a lesser extent, favorable coal and crude oil prices have helped embellish state coffers, as well.

Jobs in the oil and gas industry were up to about 17,500 in June, compared to 17,000 in May. These higher paying jobs helped Wyoming’s personal income average, recorded in late March, to come in at $47,851 compared to $38,285 for the Rocky Mountain region. The national average is $40,584.

As for residential construction, single-family building permits have recorded three consecutive months of year-over-year increases. June improved by 10.8 percent over last year with authorizations of 164 permits for single-family units and 124 permits for multi-family units.

The City of Casper accounted for 82 of the units authorized in the multi-family category with recent construction of new apartments around the city.

Permitting in recent months has been on the upswing, but year-to-date comparisons to 2010 tell a different story, Robinson said. Through June, permits issued for all categories of residences (both single- and multi-) were down by 33.1 percent over last year with single family units showing a slight increase of 4.5 percent while multi-family units plunged by almost 75 percent.

Robinson said that these numbers indicate the housing stock is adequate given the current level of economic activity in Wyoming.

Wyoming Business Report