oil and gas http://wyomingpublicmedia.org en Labor Group Blasts Wyoming’s Workplace Safety Record http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/labor-group-blasts-wyoming-s-workplace-safety-record <p>The AFL-CIO, a coalition group of labor unions, has released a report blasting industry for failing to make workplaces safer, especially in oil and gas. &nbsp;Wyoming has ranked as one of the five most deadly states to work in for the last ten years. &nbsp;In 2012, only North Dakota had more workplace fatalities. &nbsp;Kim Floyd, Executive Secretary for the Wyoming chapter of the AFL-CIO says it has a lot to do with the focus of both states’ economies.<br /> Sat, 17 May 2014 00:21:37 +0000 Melodie Edwards 58427 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Labor Group Blasts Wyoming’s Workplace Safety Record Amid Boom, Regulators Struggle With Staffing http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/amid-boom-regulators-struggle-staffing <p>The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 23:08:01 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 58424 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Amid Boom, Regulators Struggle With Staffing Home Values Drop Amid Energy Booms http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/home-values-drop-amid-energy-booms <p>When there’s an energy boom, it usually brings an influx of workers into the area. And that leads to more demand for housing. That’s great for landlords who are looking to rent out their properties. But as some communities in Wyoming are finding, oil and gas drilling can actually be a problem for people who are looking to sell. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.</p><p>WILLOW BELDEN: Rhonda Holdbrook owns a real estate firm in Douglas, and she’s exceptionally busy these days. Oil production in Converse County is booming, and energy workers have flocked to town.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 22:08:31 +0000 Willow Belden 57749 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Home Values Drop Amid Energy Booms Baker Hughes Announcement Could Be Good News http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/baker-hughes-announcement-could-be-good-news <p></p><p>Last week, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of fracking chemicals said it would fully disclose the ingredients of its products. But Wyoming’s top oil and gas regulator says until he sees more information from Baker Hughes about the format of its disclosure, it’s hard to say whether it goes far enough to comply with Wyoming’s disclosure laws.</p><p></p> Fri, 02 May 2014 00:20:45 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 57691 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Baker Hughes Announcement Could Be Good News Wind River Tribes Plan Ahead For Settlement Checks http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wind-river-tribes-plan-ahead-settlement-checks <p></p><p>WILLOW BELDEN: In 2012, the tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation, the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho Tribes, came to a settlement with the federal government for a mineral royalties mismanagement case dating back to the 1970’s. The federal government has finally released the money from the settlement, and tribal members on Wind River are anxiously awaiting their checks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov joins us to talk about the settlement and what it means to the Wind River Community.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 01:37:02 +0000 Irina Zhorov 57170 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wind River Tribes Plan Ahead For Settlement Checks Settlement Money For Tribal Members Finally In Sight http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/settlement-money-tribal-members-finally-sight <p>Long-awaited money from a settlement on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming is finally on its way.</p><p>The federal government is paying the tribes $157 million for underpayment of royalties on oil and gas development and improper management of royalties that were paid. Northern Arapaho spokesman Mark Howell says some people don’t have bank accounts and there were concerns they would not be able to cash their checks.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:34:54 +0000 Irina Zhorov 56992 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Settlement Money For Tribal Members Finally In Sight Setback Rule Review A Priority For Oil And Gas Commission http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/setback-rule-review-priority-oil-and-gas-commission <p>Interim Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says he's making it a priority to review Wyoming's setback rules.</p><p>Setback rules govern how close oil and gas development can be to things like houses and streams. The current limit is 350 feet.</p><p>At an Oil and Gas Commission meeting Tuesday night in Casper, several residents said they'd like to see the distance raised to a mile, because of concerns about potential health impacts of energy production. Watson says they're asking a lot.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:02:31 +0000 Willow Belden 56901 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Setback Rule Review A Priority For Oil And Gas Commission Oil And Gas Producer Fined For Late Production Reports http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/oil-and-gas-producer-fined-late-production-reports <p>The federal Office of Natural Resources Revenue, or ONRR, has fined a Wyoming oil and gas producer $204,362 for not submitting timely production reports for its federal leases. Matrix Production Company was issued two notices of noncompliance before ONRR levied the penalties. ONRR spokesman, Patrick Etchart, says the production reports are used to keep companies in check.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:17:36 +0000 Irina Zhorov 56227 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Oil And Gas Producer Fined For Late Production Reports Forest Service Studies Impact Of Further Oil And Gas In Wyoming Range http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/forest-service-studies-impact-further-oil-and-gas-wyoming-range <p>The U.S. Forest Service is analyzing how additional oil and gas development would affect a 44,000-acre parcel of land in the Wyoming Range. The study will help the agency decide whether to allow energy leasing in the area.</p><p></p><p>The Petroleum Association of Wyoming says that because it’s multiple use land, the Forest Service should continue to allow oil and gas development. But Steve Kilpatrick with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation says new development in the Wyoming Range would harm important wildlife habitat.</p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:44:29 +0000 Willow Belden 55985 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Forest Service Studies Impact Of Further Oil And Gas In Wyoming Range Surge in Crude Oil Production http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/surge-crude-oil-production <p>Wyoming&nbsp;crude oil production is on the upswing.</p><p></p><p>The state&nbsp;produced more crude oil last year than it has in any year since 1999.&nbsp; That's in line with a&nbsp;nationwide trend; last year the country produced more crude oil than it has in any year since&nbsp;1989.</p><p>State geologist Tom Drean says the increase can be&nbsp;attributed to more drilling activity in&nbsp;unconventional plays like shale and&nbsp;tight sands, made possible because of technologies like fracking,&nbsp;and horizontal and extended reach drilling.</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:51:35 +0000 Erin Jones 55311 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Surge in Crude Oil Production President's Budget Calls for Cutting Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/presidents-budget-calls-cutting-fossil-fuel-tax-breaks <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Repealing tax credits for fossil fuel producers and strengthening the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas program are the among the energy proposals in President Obama’s&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" target="_blank">2015 budget.</a></p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 01:22:26 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 54916 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org President's Budget Calls for Cutting Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks Halliburton Donates $3M To University Of Wyoming http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/halliburton-donates-3m-university-wyoming <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The University of Wyoming is getting a major donation for its new energy and engineering research complex.&nbsp; Halliburton is giving $2 million to be applied&nbsp;towards a 'high bay' research facility.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:45:00 +0000 Bob Beck 54866 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Halliburton Donates $3M To University Of Wyoming Bonding Bill Gets Final Approval In The Wyoming House http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/bonding-bill-gets-final-approval-wyoming-house <div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would raise the bond from $2,000 to $10,000 for oil and gas drillers seeking access to privately owned land.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The bond is used to repair damage to surface land when a use agreement can't be reached between the landowner and the energy company. &nbsp;Opponents says that the increase is too high. &nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:58:13 +0000 Bob Beck 54864 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Bonding Bill Gets Final Approval In The Wyoming House Split Estate Bonding Bill Is Debated In The House http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/split-estate-bonding-bill-debated-house <p>The Wyoming House of Representatives began debating a bill that would increase the bonding required from oil and gas developers who need to drill on private surface land.&nbsp;</p><p>The bond is used in lieu of a negotiated surface use agreement between landowners and energy companies. The agreement established payment for surface damage. Currently the bond is two thousand dollars and the bill would raise it to ten thousand dollars.&nbsp;</p> Sat, 01 Mar 2014 01:32:34 +0000 Bob Beck 54715 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Split Estate Bonding Bill Is Debated In The House Oil And Gas Regulation Review Kicks Off http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/oil-and-gas-regulation-review-kicks <p>The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is planning to review several controversial issues, including flaring, well-setbacks and bonding, starting in March.<br /><br />Those topics have come up a lot in recent years, with the boom in drilling. The Powder River Basin Resource Council <a href="http://www.powderriverbasin.org/assets/WOGCC-petition-for-rulemaking.pdf" target="_blank">asked the Commission</a> to address them last year, and so have several residents in recent opinion pieces in the Casper Star-Tribune.<br /> Sat, 01 Mar 2014 00:53:07 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 54713 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Oil And Gas Regulation Review Kicks Off Wyoming Voters Prefer Mixed Approach To Energy http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-voters-prefer-mixed-approach-energy <p>According to a new report, Wyoming voters are more likely to vote for candidates who support using public lands for more than just oil and gas development.</p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 00:53:17 +0000 Jordan Giese 54614 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Wyoming Voters Prefer Mixed Approach To Energy Senate Approves Bonding Bill http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/senate-approves-bonding-bill <p>With no debate the Wyoming Senate gave final approval to a bill that would raise bonding for oil and gas drillers seeking access to surface land they don't own.&nbsp;<br /><br />The current bond is $2,000. The bill is attempting to raise that to $10,000, partly in an effort to encourage operators to negotiate&nbsp;surface use agreements with&nbsp;landowners.<br /> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 00:57:07 +0000 Bob Beck 54503 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Senate Approves Bonding Bill Senate Debates Increasing Bonding For Oil And Gas Drilling http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/senate-debates-increasing-bonding-oil-and-gas-drilling <p>The Wyoming Senate began debate on a bill that would increase bonding requirements for oil and gas operators on split estate properties.</p><p>The bill would increase the bond for operators drilling on land where they don't own the surface rights from two-thousand dollars to ten thousand.&nbsp; Supporters say that operators are causing surface damage in excess of ten thousand dollars.&nbsp;<br /><br />Senators voted down an amendment to reduce limit the bond to six thousand dollars.&nbsp; Kaycee Senator John Schiffer says the higher bond helps protect landowner rights.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:00:22 +0000 Bob Beck 54299 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Senate Debates Increasing Bonding For Oil And Gas Drilling Petroleum Association Says It Supports Bonding Increase http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/petroleum-association-says-it-supports-bonding-increase <p>The Senate Minerals Committee approved a bill Monday that would increase the amount of money oil and gas operators have to put up before accessing split estate properties.</p><p></p><p>A split estate is when a private landowner owns the surface land and not the mineral rights. The bill raises the minimum bonding amount from $2,000 to $10,000. The bond covers any damages to the property from development, when a surface use agreement can’t be negotiated.</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:45:15 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 54164 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Petroleum Association Says It Supports Bonding Increase Sublette County ozone forecasting resumes http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/sublette-county-ozone-forecasting-resumes <p>Ozone forecasting in Sublette County will begin again in January. <span id="0.5819999373036745" name="searchHitInReadingPane">Ozone</span> is a hazardous gas that’s formed under certain conditions by the combination of volatile organic compounds and nitrous oxides. In recent years Sublette County has seen spikes in <span id="0.9330231256242153" name="searchHitInReadingPane">ozone</span> during wintertime, particularly on days with no wind, lots of sunlight and snow on the ground.<br /> Thu, 26 Dec 2013 14:27:38 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 51826 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Sublette County ozone forecasting resumes Oil and gas development hurts local economies in long-run, study says http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/oil-and-gas-development-hurts-local-economies-long-run-study-says <p>The resource curse is real -- and discernible even at the county level -- according to a <a href="http://headwaterseconomics.org/wphw/wp-content/uploads/OilAndGasSpecialization_Manuscript_2013.pdf">new study</a> from the non-profit research group Headwater Economics.<br /><br />Researchers looked at more than 200 counties across six western states, and found that those with above-average oil and gas development over a long period of time had lower per capita incomes, less educational attainment and higher crime rates.<br /> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:24:31 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 51511 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Oil and gas development hurts local economies in long-run, study says Dept. of Interior needs to make changes to guarantee fair return on oil and gas, study finds http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/dept-interior-needs-make-changes-guarantee-fair-return-oil-and-gas-study-finds <p>The Department of Interior’s oil and gas royalty program has been examined repeatedly in the past for weaknesses and high risk of mismanagement and a new Government Accountability Office <a href="http://gao.gov/assets/660/659515.pdf">study </a>suggests more can be done to guarantee a fair return on extracted natural resources. The study says one of the biggest issues is that the DOI does not have set procedures for reviewing the royalty program.</p> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 00:46:03 +0000 Irina Zhorov 51453 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Dept. of Interior needs to make changes to guarantee fair return on oil and gas, study finds Abandoned well plugging plan moves forward http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/abandoned-well-plugging-plan-moves-forward <p>The legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee is mostly onboard with a new plan to plug abandoned oil and gas wells in the state. The committee discussed the Governor’s plan at a meeting on Thursday. Senator Chris Rothfuss says while the committee had questions about some of the details, like the cost and timeline, there was a general agreement that the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should move forward with the plugging.</p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:57:48 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 51356 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Abandoned well plugging plan moves forward Legislative committee interrogates baseline testing rule http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/legislative-committee-interrogates-baseline-testing-rule <p></p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 00:56:37 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 47709 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Legislative committee interrogates baseline testing rule Legislators want to see faster progress on abandoned wells solution http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/legislators-want-see-faster-progress-abandoned-wells-solution <p>A legislative committee would like to see faster progress on a program to plug abandoned oil and gas wells. That was the message for Oil and Gas Supervisor Grant Black at a meeting of the legislature&rsquo;s Minerals Committee today.</p><p>Committee members criticized Black for not providing a concrete plan for plugging or repurposing the wells. There are currently 1,200 orphaned wells in the state, and that number is expected to double in the next year.</p> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:50:02 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 47550 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Legislators want to see faster progress on abandoned wells solution Oil & gas regulators look at protecting state from bad actors http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/oil-gas-regulators-look-protecting-state-bad-actors <p>Oil and gas operators need more insurance, or bonding. That&rsquo;s what the leaders of several state agencies told the legislature&rsquo;s Minerals Committee at a meeting today. They said there&rsquo;s a gap in how much money is available and how much is needed to deal with abandoned oil and gas wells. The question is: where will that money come from?</p><p></p><p>Oil and Gas Commission Supervisor, Grant Black, says the bonding structure can be changed to avoid similar problems in the future.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:44:33 +0000 Irina Zhorov 47549 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Oil & gas regulators look at protecting state from bad actors State sanctions drilling in sage grouse habitat http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/state-sanctions-drilling-sage-grouse-habitat <p>After what the state characterized as a knock-down, drag-out fight with Chesapeake Oil, it’s planning to allow drilling in a sage grouse conservation area.</p><p>The protected areas were established by executive order in 2011 in order to conserve critical sage grouse habitat, with the goal of keeping the bird off the endangered species list. The <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/798264-chesapeake-oil-douglas-sage-grouse-plan.html#pages">new plan</a> modifies the protections in an area near Douglas where Chesapeake has oil and gas leases.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 00:34:07 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 47196 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org State sanctions drilling in sage grouse habitat Regulatory agencies have weak controls for bad oil and gas operators http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/regulatory-agencies-have-weak-controls-bad-oil-and-gas-operators <p></p><p>We recently reported that an oil and gas company operating in Wyoming was fined by the federal Office of Natural Resource Revenue for not submitting production reports. Turns out, the company has a history of poor behavior in the state, fiscally and environmentally. Although Pure Petroleum’s gross neglect of its responsibilities is somewhat of an exception, it does point to big flaws in the oil and gas industry’s reclamation system.</p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 22:28:11 +0000 Irina Zhorov 46202 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Regulatory agencies have weak controls for bad oil and gas operators EPA to finalize regional haze plan for WY by Nov. http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/epa-finalize-regional-haze-plan-wy-nov <p>The comment period closed Monday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Regional Haze Plan. The plan seeks to address the issue of air pollution produced by coal fired power plants. Wyoming put together its own regional haze program, but the EPA rejected parts of it, saying it wasn't strong enough, particularly&nbsp;when it came&nbsp;to nitrogen oxide emissions at four plants.</p> Wed, 28 Aug 2013 13:17:42 +0000 Irina Zhorov 46025 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org EPA to finalize regional haze plan for WY by Nov. Industry mostly on board with new water testing rules http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/industry-mostly-board-new-water-testing-rules <p>For the most part, industry is happy with the new draft rules for baseline water testing near oil and gas wells. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission released its <a href="http://wogcc.state.wy.us/downloads/08162013_CH3_130731%20Strike%20Underscore.pdf" target="_blank">latest draft</a> of them last week.</p><p>Petroleum Association of Wyoming Vice President John Robitaille says he continues to hear from association members that baseline testing is necessary.</p><p>“In all honesty, I think we probably should have been doing this several years ago,” he says.</p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:46:17 +0000 Stephanie Joyce 45911 at http://wyomingpublicmedia.org Industry mostly on board with new water testing rules