Oil Company Chastised For Wasting Natural Gas

Nov 19, 2014

A flare burns off natural gas from an oil well.
Credit Willow Belden

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission gave a company permission to continue burning off large volumes of natural gas from its oil wells in Laramie County this week, but not before expressing its disapproval. Cirque Resources asked the Commission for permission to continue flaring more than 1.4 million cubic feet of natural gas per day -- enough to heat more than 7000 homes.

The company said it’s not currently possible to get that gas into a pipeline. Governor Matt Mead asked Cirque why they hadn’t anticipated the situation and said he was "very uncomfortable with this [request]."  Commissioner Tom Fitzsimmons had even stronger words. “If they don’t find a location to put that gas into a sales pipe and send off to market, then they should anticipate not producing that oil that’s associated with it,” he said. 

Oil is much more lucrative than natural gas. The Commission gave Cirque a four month flaring extension.