Producing Energy In The Uinta Basin
At present, the Uinta Basin is isolated from the national rail network. The existing transportation infrastructure consists of two-lane rural highways connecting the Basin to the national highway network, natural gas and crude oil pipelines, and a phosphate ore slurry pipeline. The principal truck route connecting the Uinta Basin to the rest of the country is US-40, a two-lane rural highway that provides access to Salt Lake City to the west and rural northwestern Colorado to the east. In addition, US-191, a rural two-lane highway, traverses the basin from north to south.
Crude oil from the Uinta Basin tends to contain a large amount of paraffin, which creates several challenges for producers in the area. Waxy oil must remain heated to flow, which restricts (but does not eliminate) its ability to be shipped via pipeline or rail. Hence, much of the crude oil produced in the Uinta Basin is transported via trucks. However, because trucking is the most expensive form of oil transport, this limits the distance the oil can profitably travel to a refinery. It also affects the price of waxy crude oil. Most oil from the Uinta Basin is refined at the five refineries in the Salt Lake City area, but there is not an alternative way for excess production to reach the market.
- Reduction of Truck Traffic
- Increased Employment Opportunities in Carbon and Duchesne Counties
- Improved Energy Production
- Increased Revenue to Local Governments