WOGCC Supervisor Presents at the Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s Annual Conference

Supervisor Mark Watson presented at the 2018 Petroleum Association of Wyoming annual conference in Casper, Wyoming, giving a state of affairs address for Wyoming’s oil and gas industry.

Watson provided production comparisons for both oil and gas year-over-year.  He also noted that Wyoming holds the largest amount of minerals in the U.S.  and has the most gas production in the U.S.  For oil, Wyoming flip-flops between being first or second in production.

Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs) continue to roll into the WOGCC offices.  The slide on the left from Watson’s presentation shows the top permit holders.  Another slide in his presentation depicted the growth in permits received by the agency.  

Watson provided a regulatory update touching on the federal rules that are held up in court – the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule and the BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule.  Regarding the WOGCC, he reported on recent rules incorporated by the agency such as setbacks and the mitigation rule and noted that the WOGCC keeps an eye on other states to understand their policies and effectiveness. 

To help streamline APD processing and the monthly hearings, a few necessary policies have been incorporated.  APDs filed are given an API number after they pass a completeness check.  However, they will not go through the judicious review by the WOGCC engineers until a company files their drilling plans.  Other policies have helped ease the load at the monthly WOGCC’s hearings.  They relate to the handling of preliminary matters, protest on APDs, and protests on drilling and spacing units.  All of these policies can be found on the agency’s website. Methane and Waste Prevention Rule and the BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule.  Regarding the WOGCC, he reported on recent rules incorporated by the agency such as setbacks and the mitigation rule and noted that the WOGCC keeps an eye on other states to understand their policies and effectiveness. 

As far as the agency’s activities, the Risk Based Data Management System, the new data mining system, went live July 5, 2018.  The system will serve to help with processing APDs and tracking data, noted Watson. 

The Orphan Well Program is still in full swing with over 5,000 wells on the list to be plugged.  The WOGCC is responsible for orphaned wells on state and fee lands.  However, Watson stated that when a federal well is in a WOGCC project area, the agency has worked with the BLM to also plug the federal well.

Wrapping up his talk, Watson said the annual Industry Meeting will be Sept. 11 – 12 at the Casper Event Center.  He encouraged industry members to register and plan to attend.  Registration can be found on the WOGCC website.

Mark Watson’s PowerPoint Presentation can be found on the WOGCC website under the News and Notices tab
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