oil and gas

Colorado regulators are now requiring oil and gas operators to monitor fracking emissions earlier and more often, and provide that data to local governments. Both industry officials and regulators supported the move. But concerns persist, like the fact that the rules allow oil and gas operators to choose how to monitor their own emissions. Regardless, environmental groups see Colorado as a leader in emission monitoring in the region and hope other states follow suit.

State of Wyoming

Gov. Mark Gordon released a statement following a press release providing answers to some long-held questions regarding the state's bid for Occidental Petroleum's 4.5 million acres of mineral rights and one million acres of surface land.

Proposed Oxy Land Purchase
Governor's Office

Wyoming has withdrawn its $1.2 billion bid for land and minerals owned by Occidental Petroleum after it entered into a purchase and sale agreement with another entity.

Occidental announced it entered into the agreement with Orion Mine Finance to divest some of its Land Grant assets in Colorado, Utah, and primarily, Wyoming. It includes 4.5 million mineral acres and one million fee surface acres.

Casper Star Tribune

Three workers have filed a lawsuit against EOG Resources after a natural gas explosion left them with severe injuries. EOG is among the state's top producers of natural gas and has been the state's largest producer of oil since 2015.

After much anticipation, the Governor's Office announced this afternoon that Occidental Petroleum moved on with another parties' bid for its one million acres of land and four million acres of mineral rights in southern Wyoming. The company alerted Gov. Mark Gordon over the weekend that Wyoming was not selected, according to his office.

Rig count in Wyoming over the past year
Y Chart

The legislature's Joint Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee voted in favor of sponsoring a bill they hope will incentivize new oil and gas production in the state.

IEA

Wyoming will once again challenge an Obama-era rule that aims to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Uinta, Carbon, and Sweetwater County Maps With Parcels Up For Sale Highlighted. Land grant map listed as well.
Online GIS maps, Cooper McKim

Wyoming plans to move forward with a bid on a million acres of land and four million acres of mineral rights from Occidental Petroleum. After hearing from the public for the first time since the legislative session on the deal, the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB), made up of five elected officials, amended its motion to make room for more transparency.

Uinta, Carbon, and Sweetwater County Maps With Parcels Up For Sale Highlighted. Land grant map listed as well.
Online GIS maps, Cooper McKim


On February 17, Gov. Mark Gordon announced the state was considering the purchase of about a million acres of surface land across southern Wyoming and 4 million acres of mineral rights from Occidental Petroleum. Now, the company has set a July 1 deadline for entities to make a bid. On May 6, Occidental confirmed it had 13 bidders.

Petroleum Association of Wyoming

There are currently only two oil and gas rigs operating in the state right now, down from 30 last year. The Joint Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee approved the drafting of two bills to help the industry, whose downturn will severely hurt the state's revenue picture.

Image of HollyFrontier's Cheyenne Refinery on its website
HollyFrontier

HollyFrontier Corporation, a Texas-based independent petroleum refiner, announced it plans to transform its Cheyenne Refinery to focus on a new product and reduce its overall workforce by about 75 percent. Rather than producing conventional diesel, it will now look to renewable diesel.

BLM's online reporting system lists lease suspensions in Wyoming, but not yet royalty relief approvals
BLM LR 2000 system

State and federal agencies are seeing an increase in requests for relief by oil and gas producers in Wyoming. The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) online records system finds 69 requests have been approved for lease suspension in May.

The Bureau of Land Management is charging back-due rent on renewable energy projects on public lands, as the Department of Interior simultaneously works to give oil and gas operators financial relief.

Michael Curran

A University of Wyoming Ph.D. student is looking to improve reclamation on well pads for oil and gas. Michael Curran developed a way to monitor out-of-the-way areas with drone imagery hoping to get faster and more accurate data collection at a lower cost.

Ultra's production and expected declines over 2020
SEC Filings

On May 14, Ultra Petroleum Corp. filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The largest natural gas producer and taxpayer in Wyoming operates exclusively in western Wyoming with 3000 producing wells in the Jonah and Pinedale fields. The company has 151 full-time employees.

As the coronavirus pandemic hammers oil prices, the number of "orphaned" or abandoned oil wells could grow. A group wants to enlist newly unemployed oilfield workers in addressing the problem.

 


The Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 18 million acres of public land in Wyoming. Out of that, close to 11 million acres are leased for oil and gas production.

Cooper McKim


The sun is beating down on a nearly empty gravel plot. Just a few weeks ago, trailers owned by oil field and pipeline workers lined this man camp.

Public Domain

Recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis interpreted by The Wall Street Journal show the downturn in the energy sector is affecting Mountain West states very differently.

Test site for the geologic carbon capture project in Campbell County
University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources

The Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory announced it will fund the next phase of an ambitious project developed by the University of Wyoming, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and other partners.

A National Wildlife Federation report published this week says new oil and gas leases on public lands could harm existing hunting economies in the West.


A federal report out this week shows that the Bureau of Land Management has more than halved the time spent reviewing oil and gas drilling permits, a reflection of how the agency's priorities have shifted under the Trump administration.

A 5-day look at WTI pricing
Market Watch

On Monday, domestic oil prices dropped more than 200 percent, settling at -$14.05 by day's end; the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price benchmark momentarily hit -$40.32. This marks the first time oil prices have ever dropped into the negatives.

A map of the proposed CO2 pipeline corridors from the draft environmental impact statement released April 17
Bureau of Land Management

A project meant to support carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery in Wyoming has passed a regulatory hurdle. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative (WPCI). It's now seeking public comment.

There’s been too much oil on the market since well before the coronavirus outbreak. But a recent agreement to cut production won’t be enough to prevent states in the Mountain West from taking a big hit.

 


Sinclair's 25,000 barrel-per-day refinery near Casper
Sinclair Oil Corporation

Governors from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Wyoming requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency make a move to prevent "existential harm" to small oil refineries, of which Wyoming has five.

Coal seam at Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle Mine
Peabody Energy

On March 30, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Mike Enzi led 10 other U.S. Senate signatories in a request for the U.S. Department of the Interior to administer help to the coal, oil and gas industries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Liz Cheney signed a similar letter coming from the House of Representatives today alongside 29 other Congressmen.

One of Crusoe's computer modules
Permission from Crusoe Energy System

Crusoe Energy Systems, with operations in Wyoming's Powder River Basin and northern DJ Basin, is contributing to a global effort to find a cure for COVID-19, now with the help of Mesa Natural Gas Solutions, based out of Casper.

Social distancing at a WY Public Service Commission meeting
Public Service Commission

Wyoming agencies are making internal changes aimed at slowing the spread COVID-19 while keeping the public in the loop. Several are looking to hold public meetings via telephone or online including the Wyoming Public Service Commission and Department of Environmental Quality.

Wyoming Public Radio

Ultra Petroleum Corp., Wyoming's largest natural gas producer in 2019, agreed to additional one-time bonuses to six executives totaling $1,561,250.

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