News & Announcements


Notice to Operators

posted Nov 8, 2017, 1:16 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Nov 8, 2017, 1:48 PM ]

Extra copies submitted with Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs)

Since the Office of State Lands and Investments has advised us they no longer need a copy of any APD involving state lands, and, since APDs are scanned when they are approved or denied, we ask operators to discontinue sending in copies with the original APD packet.

The WOGCC will continue to send to the operators the receipt, the Conditions of Approval page and the horizontal application acceptance or denial when the permit is approved.  If additional information is needed, the scanned image is available from our website.

We appreciate your cooperation and hope this is a win-win compromise.

Two New Members Joining the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

posted Nov 1, 2017, 8:29 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Nov 1, 2017, 8:32 AM ]

Governor Matt Mead has appointed Ken Hendricks to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC). Mr. Hendricks replaces Tom Fitzsimmons who resigned. Erin Campbell will begin her duties as State Geologist on November 21 and will join the OGCC at their December 12 meeting. Campbell will replace Tom Drean whose retirement is effective November 21.

“The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, with its wealth of experience and expertise, is a special group. I know the public and the industry appreciate the OGCC’s willingness to listen and make wise decisions,” said Governor Mead. “Ken and Erin are highly qualified and will continue the OGCC’s good work. I thank Tom Drean and Tom Fitzsimmons for their contributions and service.”

Ken Hendricks has a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology (Montana Tech) and has over 30 years of experience in the upstream petroleum industry, both domestic and international. He recently retired from Anadarko Petroleum. He and his family have lived in Wyoming since 1998.

“I am very honored to be appointed by Governor Mead to serve the State of Wyoming as a commissioner on the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission,” said Hendricks. “In replacing Tom Fitzsimmons I have big shoes to fill, but I'm looking forward to working with Governor Mead, the other members of the Oil and Gas Commission, and the OGCC staff on the oil and gas issues that are affecting our state."

"I look forward to the opportunity to apply my knowledge of Wyoming geology and ability to offer unbiased, critical assessment, to issues that have profound impact on the state," said Campbell.

The OGCC meets the second Tuesday of each month at its office in Casper. The remaining meetings for 2017 are November 14 and December 12.  

NOTICE TO OPERATORS

posted Oct 17, 2017, 8:13 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Oct 17, 2017, 8:16 AM ]

The State Lands Office has been receiving Applications for Permit to Drill (Form 1) documents from operators.  Please do not send these APDs to the Office of State Lands and Investments as they are not required.

Governor Matt Mead Names Erin Campbell as New State Geologist

posted Sep 20, 2017, 10:36 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Sep 20, 2017, 10:43 AM ]

Governor Matt Mead has chosen Erin Campbell as the new state geologist and director of the Wyoming State Geological Survey, or WSGS. This role is not only responsible for studying the state's mineral resources and advising the government but also serves as one of the WOGCC Commissioners. Campbell is expected to take over the reins November 21st. To read more about Erin Campbell and her recent selection, please see this Wyoming Public News article by clicking here.

POLICY FOR PROTESTED APDs TO START IN AUGUST

posted Jul 14, 2017, 2:34 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jul 14, 2017, 2:39 PM ]

NEW POLICY FOR PROTESTED APDs TO START IN AUGUST:  Due to the growing number of protested APDs that are continued on a month to month basis, the Protest Policy for Applications for Permit to Drill (APD) will start with the August 2017 hearings on all protested APD applications. You can read the new policy by clicking here


WOGCC Supervisor presents at Joint Minerals and Economic Development Interim Committee

posted Jul 6, 2017, 2:06 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 2:53 PM ]

WOGCC Supervisor presents at Joint Minerals and Economic Development Interim Committee

WOGCC Supervisor Mark Watson recently presented before the Joint Minerals and Economic Development Interim Committee on oil and gas development in Wyoming and state primacy. 

In his presentation, Watson said the WOGCC has seen a notable increase in applications for permits to drill (APDs) during 2017.  The increase is more about companies seeking to secure operatorship of a well versus actual drilling activity.  In Wyoming, when a company receives approval for a drilling and spacing unit (DSU), it is not a guarantee that it will be the operator of the wells in that DSU.  The company that receives the first approved permit for each well in that DSU will be the company that has the right to drill.  Right to operatorship is critical to companies. Drilling and completing a well requires several million dollars of investment, and the successful outcome of a well hinges on technical, downhole accuracy.  This creates an urgency to be the first company that submits and receives approval of a permit in order to be able to call the shots when drilling and completing a well.  Even though it costs $500 per application, it is well worth submitting APDs to get the right to be the operator.

Watson enumerated, that although 4847 APDs have been received and 3792 of those have been approved as of June 2017, only 25 rigs are operating throughout the state of Wyoming.  The large amount of permits is more about securing the right to operatorship verses actual drilling. 

Additionally, the WOGCC requires APDs for all mineral types i.e. Fee, State and Federal.  The agency has jurisdiction for well spacing, force pooling, fracking and flaring and to assign an API number to each well. 

When a well includes federal surface and/or federal minerals, it requires both state and federal permits.  Approval of federal permits can take up to two years verses 30 to 60 days with the WOGCC.  The Minerals Committee asked about state primacy as it relates to the oil and gas industry.  Watson explained that unlike the EPA, the BLM does not have the authority to issue state primacy and to change that would be an arduous and lengthy process.  Though there is a push among some state and federal legislators for state primacy with oil and gas, Watson recommended that working with the BLM to secure an MOU makes the most sense.  This has been successful in other cases and would be the recommended course for a successful and expedited approach.  However, with the new administration in place, Watson recommended a “wait and see” approach right now since there are many changes coming down from the White House.

In addition to touching on the WOGCC’s most recent rule changes including setbacks, baseline water sampling, authorization for flaring and venting of gas and bonding, the supervisor emphasized the state’s hydraulic fracturing rule.  With the incorporation of Chapter 3, Section 45, the WOGCC implemented a comprehensive “Well Stimulation” rule in 2010, which applies to fee, state and federal minerals.  The rule requires both pre and post chemical disclosure to the WOGCC including CAS numbers and is one of the most rigorous and transparent rules in the United States.  Many states ask operators to use the FracFocus website to disclose their frac components.  However, Wyoming is the only state that requires disclosure of a frac job’s makeup prior to operations. Additionally, unless a frac operation obtains Trade Secret Status for some chemicals, this information is accessible to the public on the WOGCC’s website. 

In the final portion of his presentation, Supervisor Watson touched on the timelines for the recent federal regulations.  These include the BLM’s Frack Rule; the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule; EPA’s Methane Emissions from Existing Sources; and EPA’s Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed and Modified Sources.  All are in ongoing litigation.


WOGCC Participates in the Energy & Natural Resources Section Summit

posted Jun 15, 2017, 3:48 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jun 15, 2017, 3:48 PM ]

WOGCC Participates in the Energy & Natural Resources Section Summit

Representatives from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission served on a panel at the second annual Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Section Summit in Casper, Wyoming.  The event included a half day of CLE programming and offered an array of informative speakers. 

The WOGCC panel consisted of Director Mark Watson who discussed Wyoming’s operatorship issues, WOGCC’s orphan well program, the agency’s outreach and education to surface owners that live near areas that have oil and gas activity, and an update of recent federal regulations.  WOGCC’s engineers Sabrina Hamner, Tracye Rauscher and Frank Ingham gave an overview of examiner hearings and what they entail including uncontested spacing, pooling and increased density.  They focused on how WOGCC hearings proceed and how applicants and their attorneys can ensure the process for approved permits moves along efficiently.  Attorneys Eric Easton and Mike Armstrong presented on the recent changes to the WOGCC’s Chapter 5 rules. 

“This is the second year WOGCC has presented a CLE program to our Section,” stated attorney Erin Murphy, who was the ENR Section Chair.  “It is very helpful to our attorneys participating in the section to hear from the WOGCC.  Not only do they gain a deeper understanding of Wyoming’s oil and gas regulations and processes, but they also have the opportunity to ask questions that pertain to their work and their clients regarding the agency.”  

NOTICE OF INTENT TO AMEND/ADOPT RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE WOGCC

posted May 31, 2017, 7:00 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 1:29 PM ]

NOTICE OF INTENT TO AMEND/ADOPT 
RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE 
WYOMING OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION

        Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. 16-3-103 et seq., the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) is proposing to adopt, update and amend procedural rules found in Chapter 1 and 5, for the purpose of adopting as much of the Office of Administrative Hearings Uniform Rules for Contested Cases (OAH Rules) as is consistent with the specific and distinct requirements of the agency, pursuant to W.S. 16-3-103(j)(i).

        The WOGCC is also proposing to adopt rules and regulations related to Uniform Procedures, Fees, Costs and Charges for Inspecting, Copying, and Producing Public Records, promulgated by the Department of Administration and Information pursuant to W.S. 16-4-204(e). It is proposed that the rule be adopted in whole as new Chapter 6.

        These proposed rule amendments meet minimum substantive state statutory requirements pursuant to Wyo. Stat. 16-3-103(g). These rules are not adopted, amended or repealed to comply with federal law or regulatory requirements, pursuant to Wyo. Stat. 16-3-103(a)(i)(F). These rules have been determined to not constitute a taking, pursuant to W.S. 9-5-304. A copy of the assessment is available upon request to the Oil and Gas Supervisor.

        Written comments regarding the proposed amendments may be submitted by: MAIL to the State Oil and Gas Supervisor, P.O. Box 2640, Casper, Wyoming 82602-2640; E-MAIL to WOGCC_rules@wyo.gov; or, FACSIMILE addressed to the State Oil and Gas Supervisor at 307-234-5306. Comments must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. on July 28, 2017, to be considered.

        No public hearing on the proposed rules has been scheduled. A public hearing will be held to discuss the proposed rules if requested by twenty-five (25) persons, a government subdivision or by an association having not less than twenty-five (25) members. Request for a public hearing may be address to: Public Hearing Request, Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, P.O. Box 2640, Casper, WY 82602-2640.

        The proposed amendments will be considered by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting date on TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2017, AT 9:00 A.M., in the Conference Room of the Office of the State Oil and Gas Supervisor, 2211 King Boulevard, Casper, Wyoming. Any interested firm, person, or corporation may appear at the time and place aforesaid to be heard by the Commission.

        Copies of these proposed amended and/or new chapters are available on the Commission’s website at http://wogcc.state.wy.us; the Secretary of State’s website at https://rules.wyo.gov/; by request via e-mail to Mark Watson (mark.watson@wyo.gov) or Karla Sanford (karla.sanford@wyo.gov); by fax at 307-234-5306; or, by telephone at 307-234-7147.

        Any person may urge the agency not to adopt the rules as proposed and also request the agency to state its reasons for overruling the consideration urged against adoption. Requests for an agency response must be made prior to or within thirty (30) days after adoption of the rule, must be in writing, and must be addressed to:

                                                                                                            Mark Watson, State Oil and Gas Supervisor
                                                                                                            P.O. Box 2640
                                                                                                            Casper, Wyoming, 82602-2640

        These rules are not adopted, amended or repealed to comply with federal law or regulatory requirements. These rules have been determined to not constitute a taking, pursuant to W.S. 9-5-304.

        DATED this 30th day of May, 2017.

                                                                                                            /s/ Mark Watson,
                                                                                                            State Oil and Gas Supervisor

NOTICE TO OPERATORS

posted May 12, 2017, 9:14 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated May 12, 2017, 9:27 AM ]

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules require that oil and gas operators perform operations and maintain well locations at all times in a safe and workmanlike manner, having due regard for the preservation and conservation of the property and for the health and safety of employees and people residing in close proximity to those operations (Chpt. 4, Sec. 4).  

In lieu of the recent Colorado flowline incident, the WOGCC is reminding operators to carefully adhere to the following flowline procedures as oultlined in the WOGCC Rules, Chpt. 4, Sec. 15.


Section 15.  Production Facilities and Natural Gas Facility Equipment and Flowline Abandonment.

            (a)            An Owner/Operator of a well or wells shall notify the Supervisor of all above and below ground flowlines and vessels, including tanks, if the flowlines or vessels are not used for a period of two (2) years.  After consideration of the relevant circumstances, the Supervisor on a case-by-case basis, may require the flowline or facilities to be purged with fresh water or inert gases, drained and depressured.  The Owner/Operator shall provide notification of the purging operation to the Supervisor or Authorized Agent.  

            (b)            The Supervisor may require the Owner or Operator to abandon and/or remove all above ground piping.  If flowlines or facility piping are removed, the removal shall be done in a manner that prevents the escape of fluids, that is: 
 
                             (i)            Purge with fresh water or inert gases, drain and depressure; then, 

                             (ii)           Seal the line or cap at both ends.  If not removed, the Owner or Operator will be required to mark remaining piping to identify as purged piping.

            (c)             If underground flowlines or facility piping are abandoned in place, the Owner or Operator shall meet the following requirements:

                             (i)            Purge with fresh water or inert gases, drain and depressure the flowline and piping;

                             (ii)           Seal the line or cap at both ends; and,

                             (iii)           Bury at least twenty-four inches (24") below the surface and restore the surface contour, unless the Supervisor or the surface land owner agrees otherwise in writing.  

From the Supervisor

posted Mar 13, 2017, 3:03 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated May 12, 2017, 9:18 AM ]

New Home Page 

     (PLEASE NOTE:  YOU MAY ACCESS THE LEGACY WEBSITE BY CLICKING ON THE TAB ENTITLED "DATA" as noted below in Mark Watson's article)

Welcome to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's new home page for our website! The modernized look incorporates our updated logo and brand. It also depicts Wyoming with our state animal and the University of Wyoming Cowboys colors. We are Wyoming Proud! 

I invite you to take some time and explore the home page. I hope you find it easy to use and helpful for your work.

The drop down tabs at the top will take you to a great deal of the information you are accustomed to finding. You can also go directly to the legacy website through the data tab. We did this to make it easy and efficient to find key information you need at your fingertips.

The slide show will take you to highlighted news topics or information. One feature provides a chance to meet the folks that do the work at the WOGCC offices. We hope this puts a face to that person you often visit with on the phone or simply provides you an understanding of the wealth of knowledge and years of experience we have here within our staff. 

New and pressing information will be found here in this section. Our desire is to keep all of our stakeholders and the public informed and up-to-date on items related to the WOGCC and the state.

In the future, there will be changes to the legacy website. Some of those changes you won’t notice except that you might find the information you need more easily. 

And don’t forget, if you ever have a website question, you can always email Robert.meyer@wyo.gov. If you would like to give us feedback on our new website, send to  Kimberly.mazza@wyo.gov

~ Mark Watson

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