By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon is launching a program this week that is designed to help with Wyoming’s economic recovery and to boost employment in the oil and gas industry.
The Energy Rebound Program will utilize up to $15 million in CARES Act funding to provide business relief targeted towards drilled, but uncompleted oil and gas wells, wells that were unable to be recompleted and plugging and abandonment projects which could not be finished due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When global demand for oil plummeted due to COVID, work stopped almost immediately in the oil and gas industry in Wyoming,” Gordon said. “This program is tailored to provide opportunities for employees who lost jobs when drilling ceased.”
The program will reimburse operators for work done on completions, recompletions, workovers or plugging and abandonments before Dec. 30, up to $500,000 per project.
Operators who were unable to perform or finish projects in these categories for wells they operate due to the effects of the virus, and who can spend funds before Dec. 30, are encouraged to apply.
The Wyoming Business Council will start accepting applications at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Applications will be accepted through 10 a.m. on Nov. 23rd.
Operators are encouraged to start preparing information for the application, including basic well data, type of project (completion, recompletion/workover or P&A), estimated start and end dates of projects, estimated production, costs of projects and other information.
Priority will be given to projects that provide the greatest immediate economic and employment benefit to Wyoming.
Other factors include, but are not limited to: estimated time of start and completion of the project; completeness of the application; estimated amount of increased production of oil and gas; and ability to commence P&A projects in a timely manner.
“We recognize this is a short window for applications, however, these funds are for projects that were planned, but could not be completed due to the effects of COVID-19. Companies who were ready to roll last March should have the information in hand. We will maximize the impact these dollars have on restoring economic and employment opportunities in Wyoming” said Randall Luthi, Chief Energy Advisor to Governor Gordon.