A graph displaying Missouri oil production from 2012 to 2022.

Oil was discovered in Missouri shortly after the Civil War when water wells were being drilled near Kansas City. Although Missouri has limited supplies of traditional hydrocarbons, relatively large deposits of “heavy oil” exist that are of increasing interest to producers. Missouri potentially has large quantities of "unconventional" energy resources that include: coalbed methane, oil sand and oil shale. New technologies and efficient, environmentally responsible oil production strengthen Missouri’s future and result in increased economic benefit to the state through jobs and revenue. Gas production numbers have been collected by the department’s Geological Survey since 1928, and oil production numbers have been collected since 1943. 


Individuals and companies interested in oil and gas exploration in Missouri must apply for permits. Learn about oil and gas well permitting.