See the following for more information and links to the above. The discovery of a new, more promising oil reserve has led to a surge of interest in oil and gas development in Laramie County over the last few months. In May of , oil and gas companies applied for nine permits to drill in Laramie County.
Wyoming Oil and Gas Statutes
This section includes links to Wyoming statutes, regulations, guidelines, and policies related to oil and gas surface operations. The WOGCC also handles the drilling permit process and ensures industry compliance with statewide oil and gas laws and regulations.
See the following for more information and links to the above. Definitions — provides definitions of important terms in the Wyoming code. General Rules — defines the scope of the Wyoming rules, which is to prevent waste and to conserve oil and gas, as well as to protect human health and the environment through the utilization of proven methods which are designed to avoid contamination of the soils and water at drilling or producing locations.
The Wyoming rules specify that compliance with state rules does not relieve the owner or operator of the obligation to comply with applicable federal, local or other state permits or regulatory requirements. Environmental Rules — includes most of the rules for protection of human health and the environment by avoiding contamination of soils and waters at drilling and producing locations.
The section includes rules for underground injection control and enhanced recovery and disposal projects. The following is a collection of various guidelines and policy statements issued by the WOGCC and other Wyoming state agencies intended to guide the development of oil and gas throughout the state in an environmentally conscious manner and to increase understanding of and compliance with current oil and gas laws and regulations.
The webpage also includes links to documents issued by federal agencies, such as the EPA, and documents produced by environmental agencies in other states. Their objective is to return the surface of the land that was used for production activity to its original use. WOGCC Water Sampling and Testing Guidelines — these guidelines contain preferred methods for water sampling at operation sites and methods of laboratory analysis.
WOGCC Reclamation Guidelines — these guidelines are intended to supplement WOGCC rules governing reclamation procedures with the goal of returning surface land used for oil and gas exploration, drilling, or production activity to its original use. WOGCC Spill Cleanup Guidelines — these guidelines establish spill cleanup standards for oil and gas exploration and production sites and employ an oil contaminated soil remediation ranking system and a ranking system to evaluate the environmental sensitivity of the impacted site.
The JIO represents an innovative approach that encourages industry to minimize its development footprint, maximize recovery of natural gas, and speed up the reclamation process. Under the proposal that would increase to feet. Companies would also have to comply with a new requirement to notify people living within feet of a well of any planned drilling activity and come up with a plan to mitigate potential impacts.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will get its first look at a draft rule for oil and gas well setbacks next week. Just across the border in Colorado, drilling has reached breakneck pace, but Wyoming has been relatively quiet -- until now. The discovery of a new, more promising oil reserve has led to a surge of interest in oil and gas development in Laramie County over the last few months. In May of , oil and gas companies applied for nine permits to drill in Laramie County.
In May of , companies applied for The state has started plugging some of the thousand-plus orphaned wells in the Powder River Basin. The wells are relics of the coal-bed methane bust, when many companies went bankrupt and walked away without closing their wells. The state has taken on responsibility for plugging them, using a combination of revoked bonds and funds from a production tax.
Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says they had hoped to start plugging wells a little bit sooner, but that there were scheduling conflicts to take into account. The Powder River Basin Resource Council submitted the petition a year ago, asking the Commission to consider new rules for flaring, setbacks -- the distance rig should be from a house -- and violations such as spills.
Mark Watson received a unanimous vote from the commissioners. He's been with the Commission for almost thirty years in various positions, most recently as the principal petroleum engineer. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is planning to review several controversial issues, including flaring, well-setbacks and bonding, starting in March.
Those topics have come up a lot in recent years, with the boom in drilling. The Powder River Basin Resource Council asked the Commission to address them last year, and so have several residents in recent opinion pieces in the Casper Star-Tribune. Wyoming regulators recorded hundreds of spills by the oil and gas industry last year, but issued just a handful of fines.
The head of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says his agency will consider changing setback rules. Those are the rules that govern how far away oil and gas operations, such as wells, have to be from things like houses. Grant Black spoke at a public meeting in Douglas last night. But he says that could change. Despite recording more than spills, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission levied no fines for unauthorized releases in Natural resources program supervisor Tom Kropatsch says that figure includes all releases -- whether of oil, natural gas, produced water or drilling mud.
So, we see a lot more, as far as numbers of spills now than we did several years ago, just because we changed the requirement on volume.
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. The smaller figure takes into account only wells that the state knows are abandoned. That number of 'at risk' wells is twice previous estimates. Opinion is sharply divided on a proposed rule that would require water testing at oil and gas wells before and after drilling.
Two dozen groups and individuals submitted written comments, and a handful spoke at a public hearing in Casper on Tuesday.