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Iran Sanctions Could Drive Mountain West Oil Production Up

Oil pumps in Northeast Colorado
Oil pumps in Northeast Colorado

It’s an international agreement but Trump's decision to leave the nuclear deal with Iran could be felt in our region for good and for bad.

Robert Godby directs the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming.

“The impact from this decision is that oil prices are going to be higher than they would have been otherwise. The question is really how much,” he said.

Godby said oil prices had already been going up because of increased global demand. But with re-imposed sanctions on oil-producing Iran they’ll go up even more.

However he added there could be a silver lining for the Mountain West.

“We could see increased production in Colorado, Wyoming, the entire mountain west region, in response to this,” he said.

Increased domestic production of oil, however, could heighten shortages of steel, sand, water, and other materials used for extraction. Even labor is in short supply here, he said, thanks to relatively low unemployment.

And what can people expect at the gas pump? Higher prices.  

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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