Interior Secretary Bernhardt urged to ease BLM drilling rules.

June 19, 2020

With just one active drilling rig left in Wyoming during the ongoing oil downturn, the state’s all-Republican delegation is asking Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to ease drilling demands on some oil and gas producers according to a June 12, 2020 EnergyWire report.

In a June 10th letter, Rep. Liz Cheney and Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso asked the Bureau of Land Management to extend deadlines on pooled drilling operations on federal lands.

Those operations carry a number of requirements, like drilling new wells within a certain time frame and submitting production reports to the BLM for review.

But strapped oil and gas companies can’t “afford the large capital investments required for drilling,” the lawmakers wrote.

“This is made evident through the nationwide rig count which is at the lowest point ever on record,” the letter states, noting that Wyoming has gone from 21 active rigs to one since March.

The Wyoming delegation thanked Bernhardt for his role in expediting oil companies’ requests for royalty cuts during the pandemic — a move that has caught pushback from environmental groups.

But they argued that some obligations under current rules would force the drilling of new wells and exacerbate the global oversupply that has hurt prices.

A one-year extension on all exploratory unit deadlines would prove “exceedingly beneficial,” they said, requesting that Bernhardt make a decision on the matter within two weeks.

“Companies need capital to not only remain viable during this downturn, but also as they work to rebuild in the future,” the letter states.

The Wyoming request follows several congressional pleas to Bernhardt for assistance in the oil and gas sector.

What this means to you
In a June 10th letter, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso asked the Bureau of Land Management to extend deadlines on pooled drilling operations on federal lands.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission compliance on federal lands.