CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon addressed the complete absence of operating gas rigs in Wyoming during a Wedneday, Aug. 4 press conference.
“Yesterday, the last operating gas rig in the state was laid down, leaving us with no active rigs,” he said. “This is only the second time since 1884 that this has happened. I hate the word unprecedented and it keeps coming up.”
“There are many jobs connected with these rigs and the impact their absence has on Wyoming revenues is enormous.”
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Gordond said that the Wyoming Legislature’s Minerals Committee and the state’s Oil and Gas Commission are looking at ways to help keep oil and gas businesses in Wyoming afloat.
He said they are also working to ensure that Wyoming’s coal industry can continue to operate, which he said includes efforts to support the implementation of carbon capture and sequestration technology.
The Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW) said in a Wednesday press release that Wyoming oil and gas producers contributed $1.67 billion to state and local governments in 2019. They said that amounts to $2,882 per Wyoming resident.
737 total wells were drilled and completed in 2019, according to the release. 50% of those wells found oil, 37% found natural gas and the remainder were dry. 21 of Wyoming’s 23 counties produced oil and/or natural gas in 2019.
“40% of all property taxes in Wyoming were paid by the oil and natural gas industry,” PAW added. “Of all severance taxes collected on minerals, 66% were paid by oil and natural gas companies.”
“In 2019, more than 19,000 hard-working men and women were employed in the oil and natural gas industry with total wages paid equaling nearly $1.12 billion.”
The release said that oil and gas tax revenues are important for many areas of government spending in Wyoming.
“The money paid by the oil and natural gas industry offsets the costs of government services like public education and infrastructure,” the PAW said. “In 2019, industry contributed $705 million to public education, $621 million to the state general fund and $157 million to cities, towns and counties around the state.”
PAW President Pete Obermueller added: “In K-12 education alone, contributions from oil and natural gas equated to sending about 43,000 of our children to school last year.”
“Given the recent downturn in the industry it is critical people recognize the contributions industry makes to Wyoming year after year and the importance oil and natural gas has for the future of Wyoming,” he added.