About the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining

For more information, visit the Division of Oil, Gas & Mining Web site.

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ESTABLISHED IN 1955, the Division fosters development of essential oil, gas and mineral resources while protecting the public and preserving the environment. There are four major programs within the Division.
 

Coal program

Supports a viable coal mining industry to meet the nation's energy needs, implements standards that safeguard the environment and protect public health and safety while operations are underway, and ensures successful reclamation of mined lands. Utah's coal industry contributes about $500 million each year to the state's economy, and coal-fired power plants provide more than 80 percent of Utah's electricity. Received primacy* from OSM/Dept of the interior in 1981.

Coal program information

Mineral mining program

Oversees and regulates large and small mineral mines and exploration projects. Permits are issued to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations, and ensures mined lands are reclaimed. Mineral mining provides more than $3 billion to Utah's economy and ranks about fourth in the nation in mineral production. The Mineral Mining Program currently oversees more than 600 mineral sites.

Mineral mining program information

Oil and gas program

Approves new drilling operations, inspects new and existing oil and gas operations for regulatory compliance and ensures oil and gas wells are properly plugged and abandoned. As part of this effort information is collected, processed and maintained on ownership, production, disposition and status of oil and gas exploration and production wells and facilities. A supporting function of the oil and gas program is permitting and inspecting injection and disposal wells and surface water disposal pits. Water is forced into injection wells to aid recovery of additional oil assets. Disposal wells are depleted wells where unusable produced water is stored in a safe geologic reservoir. Utah is currently ranked twelfth in the country in crude oil production and tenth in production of natural gas. Received Primacy from EPA in 1982.

Oil and gas program information

Abandoned mine reclamation program

Protects public health and safety from hazards at abandoned mines and restores lands damaged by past unregulated mining. There are an estimated 17,000 abandoned mines in Utah, and each mine presents numerous hazards for unsuspecting explorers. Educating the public about the dangers of abandoned mines is a continuing effort. A workbook and companion video detailing mining, mine history and abandoned mine dangers is distributed to fourth graders statewide. Received primacy* from OSM/Dept of the interior in 1981.

Abandoned mine reclamation program information

 

* Primacy is the State's right to enact and enforce their own laws that equate to certain federal laws. This ensures that the regulators are more accessible and more accountable to the citizens of the State of Utah.

 

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