News & Announcements


WOGCC Commissioners Pass Reduction in Conservation Tax

posted May 8, 2020, 10:20 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated May 8, 2020, 10:21 AM ]

Under Docket 1369-2020, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) voted in favor of reducing the current amount of conservation taxes assessed on oil and gas companies to .0000 mill levy under Wyoming Statute 30-5-116(b). 

The news release can be found under News and Notices tab. 

Minutes from WOGCC Special Meeting

posted May 5, 2020, 11:25 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated May 5, 2020, 11:27 AM ]

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission held a special telephonic meeting on March 31, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. The purpose of the special meeting was to reduce the amount of Conservation Taxes assessed under Wyoming Statute 30-5-116(b) and address filing requirements under Commission Rules Ch. 3 Sec. 41. 

The minutes of the meeting can be found under Hearings tab.

WOGCC Coronavirus Update

posted Mar 31, 2020, 10:51 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Apr 7, 2020, 7:55 AM ]

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission offices remain open.  Although some WOGCC staff are teleworking, the agency is available to assist and carry out work in a timely manner.   However, in light of the present circumstances the WOGCC has made three changes at this time to eliminate exposure.
 

1.  April examiner hearings are being handled by teleconferencing.  Examiners will be contacting applicants to coordinate the schedule.


2.  April hearings before the Commission has been postponed.  Updates on future hearings will be posted on the  WOGCC website. 


3.  In order to limit the amount of outside traffic in our facilities we ask that business needs be handled by phone or mail verses physically coming in especially if you are sick or not feeling well.

If you have any questions, please call our offices at 307-234-7147.  We know you have business to do, and we will continue to meet those needs as efficiently as possible.

Continue to regularly check the WOGCC website’s homepage for updates as we all manage this unusual time. 

We apologize for any inconveniences these decisions may cause; however, the health of all of us is the number one priority.

House Bill For Severance Tax Break Signed Into Law

posted Mar 30, 2020, 1:42 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Mar 30, 2020, 1:50 PM ]

Governor approves mineral tax break for oil and gas industry 

In the midst of unprecedented volatility in the global oil market, shale producers in Wyoming received a small boost Friday in the form of tax relief. Gov. Mark Gordon signed into law a bill providing reductions in state mineral taxes amidst certain price environments.

The tax break would kick in if the 12-month rolling average of oil prices falls below $50 per barrel. For natural gas, the 12-month rolling average would need to be less than $2.95 per thousand cubic feet. In these scenarios, the state’s mineral production tax — know as a severance tax — would be reduced by 2 percent under the new act.

Oil prices have plunged in response to the spread of COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus and a global price war. And several major oil and gas companies have started trimming their workforces or reeling in expenses. According to a Friday report by the Energy Information Administration, the oil market has never been this volatile, with a glut in supply and a shortage of fuel demand causing “extreme” price fluctuations.

The U.S. Department of Energy initially floated the idea of purchasing 30 million barrels of oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and ease the demand drought facing producers. But the stimulus bill passed Friday by the U.S. Congress did not provide such a provision. However, Randall Luthi, chief energy advisor for the governor, said the idea hasn’t been entirely pitched and could be introduced in financial aid packages down the road.

“House Bill 243 is the least we can do in the worst of times,” Luthi said. He added lawmakers may have considered extending even more relief to producers, had energy markets taken a turn for the worse earlier, during the Legislature’s session.

There are also limits to the bill. Oil operators will not be able to reap the benefits of the relief until the act goes into effect July 1. Eligible operators would see 2 percent chipped off their severance tax rate for the first six months of production, and 1 percent for the six months after that. Ultimately, the relief only applies to a well for one year. The bill was also meant to be temporary and includes a provision to sunset the relief at the end of 2025.

In the meantime, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fell to $21 a barrel Friday — an over 65 percent drop from the beginning of this year. The realized price for oil in Wyoming plunged even lower.

“Oil prices have been murdered,” University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby said.

While larger oil and gas companies may be more poised to weather the downturn, mid-size operators with debt could be hit the hardest by the brutal price environment. Firms of all sizes have announced drastic plans to slash spending this month.

“At this challenging time for the energy industry in Wyoming, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees and families,” said Ryan McConnaughey, communications director for the Petroleum Association of Wyoming. “Beyond that, as a critical fuel supplier to the nation, we must make sure all aspects of the industry are considered to be essential by federal, state and local governments. Despite recent calls by activist groups to shut down all state activity, critical work must continue to provide reliable, abundant energy that heats and lights our homes, and keeps as many Wyoming people working as possible in these challenging times.”

The downturn in oil also has sweeping implications for the state’s budget, which continues to heavily rely on revenue from minerals. State economists had anticipated a loss in revenue from natural gas and coal. But the state had forecast rosier conditions for oil, even considering it a commodity to lean on as the state diversified its economy.

“This (current price of oil) is going to hammer the one revenue stream from minerals that the state has become more dependent on because of the ongoing declines in coal and gas,” Godby, the economist, said. “Obviously, oil is now potentially the worst of the three legs because of its price.”

Critics of House Bill 243 considered the cuts in severance taxes just another loss of revenue for the state at a time when revenue streams are drying up.

But Luthi said he hopes the bill could incentivize operators to drill in Wyoming. Relaxing severance taxes for operators could make the state a more attractive place to stay and continue drilling when the economy mends, he said.

Camille Erickson, Casper Star-Tribune, March 30, 2020 

ATTENTION OPERATORS: WOGCC'S RIG SCHEDULE ONLINE FORM AND TRAINING VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE

posted Feb 10, 2020, 3:44 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Feb 27, 2020, 10:34 AM ]

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's Rig Schedule Online Form is available to use and can be found under the Electronic Forms tab on the WOGCC website homepage

The Google Sheet rig schedule form currently in use is being phased out and will remain available only for a short period.  Operators will soon be required to use the new web application to electronically enter their rig schedule information to notify the WOGCC of the wells they intend to drill.  

A training video on how to use the Rig Schedule Online Form is now available on the WOGCC website.  Please go to Training Tools located under the Electronic Form tab on the homepage of the agency's website.

It is highly recommended to watch the video since the Rig Schedule Online Form utilizes the new version of the WOGCC RBDMS forms system which is slightly different than the eForm APD forms system.

Templates for 8(m): Notice of Intent to File Section 8(m) Hearing Application, Objection to Section 8(m), Section 8(m) Application

posted Jan 29, 2020, 11:53 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jan 30, 2020, 4:07 PM ]

The WOGCC has developed three templates for 8(m) actions - Notice of Intent to File a Section 8(m) Hearing Application, Objection to Section 8(m), and Section 8(m) Application. It is highly recommended to use these templates to ensure the WOGCC obtains all the necessary information.  To access the templates, please go to the Hearings tab on the homepage of the WOGCC's website.  You may also open this page and click on any of the following:  Notice of Intent to File A Section 8(m) Hearing Application" Template, Objection to Section 8(m) template, Section 8(m) Application template.

APD Rule Information

posted Jan 29, 2020, 10:33 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jan 29, 2020, 10:46 AM ]

- The Secretary of State has accepted the final APD rule amendments for Chapter 3, Section 8 and change to definitions, effective December 20, 2019.  To review the rule, please visit the Secretary of State's website.  You can also find the rule by opening this page and clicking on the title Final Version of APD Rule.  

Response to Comments: The Commission received 228 pages of written comments.  All comments received during that period have been reviewed. For the summary of the comments received and the Staff’s responses to those comments please open the page and click on the title Response To Comments.  

WOGCC Explains Draft APD Rule at Public Meeting and Makes PPT Available:  The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission held an informational meeting on July 30 to explain the proposed rule  to address the operatorship issue related to the volume of drilling permits. The presentation's power point can be found under the News and Notices  tab on the homepage.

Final Version of APD Rule

Response To Comments

Produced water may provide relief for declining water supplies in areas of the US

posted Sep 5, 2019, 2:07 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Sep 5, 2019, 2:15 PM ]

State collaboration explores possibilities and research needs...

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) released a report that examines current regulations, practices, and research needed to expand the use of produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas production, as a resource.

Led by its member states, the GWPC brought together a collaboration of scientists, regulatory officials, members of academia, the oil and gas industry, and environmental groups to explore roles produced water might play in developing greater water certainty. The report consists of three focused modules which include:

·        Module 1: Current Legal, Regulatory & Operational Frameworks

·        Module 2: Produced Water Reuse in Unconventional Oil & Gas Operations

·        Module 3: Produced Water Reuse & Research Needs Outside Oil & Gas Operations

According to the report, freshwater stress is driven by rising populations, regional droughts, declining groundwater levels and several other factors. When surface water is scarce, communities and industries typically turn to groundwater to meet their freshwater needs.  Produced water may become a resource that could reduce the use of freshwater for some of these needs in specific locations.  

“As a national association of state oil and gas regulators and environmental protection agencies, we are concerned about the overuse of fresh groundwater resources and wanted to explore how produced water could help fill that gap,” said Mike Paque, GWPC executive director. “By identifying opportunities and challenges of using produced water and offering options for addressing them, the GWPC hopes to facilitate the development of produced water as a supplement to freshwater resources and fulfill its mission to promote the protection and conservation of groundwater for all beneficial uses.”

Most oil and natural gas produced water is reinjected deep underground into producing oil and gas reservoirs to enhance production or into porous rocks for disposal. Presently, the reuse of produced water accounts for less than 1 percent of water produced.

The report identifies challenges limiting the reuse of produced water and provides a framework for the evaluation of reuse options, focusing primarily on research needs. In an effort to facilitate more research, the report also provides a literature review, based on search logic developed by the workgroup.  This review catalogues nearly 550 published papers on produced water in one place.

The full report, Produced Water: Regulations, Current Practices & Research Needs, can be downloaded on the GWPC web site at www.gwpc.org/producedwater. For more information, contact Mike Nickolaus, special projects director, at mnickolaus@gwpc.org.

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) is a nonprofit 501(c)6 organization whose members consist of state ground water regulatory agencies which come together within the GWPC organization to mutually work toward the protection of the nation’s ground water supplies. The purpose of the GWPC is to promote and ensure the use of best management practices and fair but effective laws regarding comprehensive ground water protection. For more information visit www.gwpc.org or follow @GWPCorg on Twitter.

Click here to view the corresponding PPT

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WOGCC Proposes Rule to Address Volume of Drilling Permits

posted Jul 9, 2019, 8:19 AM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Jul 9, 2019, 8:19 AM ]

In accordance with Wyoming’s rule-making guidelines, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) released a proposed rule at its July 9, 2019 hearings initiating the rule-making process to deal with the increased volume of drilling permits.

Written public comments will be collected and reviewed during a 45-day comment period that will be announced at a later date along with how to properly submit comments. 

It is recommended to reference the WOGCC website homepage periodically for updates regarding the rule as well as subscribing for email notifications by clicking on the GovDelivery icon to the left of this notice.

To review the proposed rule in its entirety click here.   

Criteria for Filing A Protest

posted Jun 20, 2019, 4:27 PM by Kimberly Mazza   [ updated Feb 7, 2020, 10:04 AM ]

There are three (3) factors to consider in filing a protest to an application that has been filed at the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission:


1. If a party is filing an APD protest, the protest must be accompanied by a filing fee of $250 per APD to initiate commencement of a hearing [Chapter 5, Section 2 of the WOGCC Rules & Regulations].

An APD protest must be filed with the Commission "within fifteen (15) days after the required mailing is shown to have been made" [Chapter 5, Section 15(c)(ii)].

2.  If a party is protesting a matter before an examiner, the protest must be filed with the Commission by 5:00 PM on the Thursday prior to hearings [Wyo. Stat. 30-5-106: Chapter 5, Section 11(b); Section 26(a)].

3.  If a party is protesting a split estate bond, the protest must be filed with the commission within thirty (30) days of service receipt of notice of bond from the commission [Wyo. Stat.30-5-404(c)].

Please note:  A protestant must appear at the hearing to provide testimony and/or evidence to support the protest.  The commission will not consider a protest or request for relief without testimony from the protestant.  

To print the Criteria for Filing A Protest, please click here.

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