November 18, 2020
A recent economic stimulus program has been launched by Governor Mark Gordon, to help the oil and gas industry make a recovery. Energy markets saw a serious economic collapse from COVID-19, and they haven’t been able to recover to a point where people can get back to work and production can resume at the kind of levels it had in the past. With the stimulus, though, there will be more money coming in to help the industry get what it needs and move forward again.
The federal CARES Act is where the money will be coming from, and $15 million of it is earmarked for operators in the gas and oil industry. There are two main areas the money will go to, which are the clean-up of existing wells and the completion of wells that were not finished when the pandemic arrived. These uncompleted wells do not have any oil or gas being extracted from them, but they do have a wellbore that has already been drilled. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, would be needed to complete the well and start using it. Each operator in Wyoming will be able to get up to $500,000 in assistance for their oil and gas well plans.
Not only will the funds help the oil and gas industry get back on track, but they will also have an effect on the employment rate throughout the state. People can go back to work in the gas and oil sector, easing the burden for families who were a part of that industry before the pandemic shut so much of it down for months. Employees who may have lost their jobs when the drilling stopped can now go back to work, and there may be additional opportunities for people trying to get started in that industry, as well.
The oil and gas industry is a very large contributor to the overall economy in Wyoming, and having assistance to get it up and running again can mean a boost for the entire state. Prices for gas and oil started to tumble in March when Saudi Arabia and Russia began a price war. Then the pandemic occurred, and oil prices went negative by the time April came around because there was so much supply and so little demand. The industry has been devastated this year, but getting a much-needed stimulus could help a recovery get started.
The Energy Rebound Program is a great way to use CARES Act funding to help oil and gas in Wyoming become strong and viable again. This funding was originally created to help a lot of industries that have seen disaster because of the pandemic, and this is a good use of the funds for the state. The Petroleum Association of Wyoming and state Representatives are all praising the opportunity to move forward in the oil and gas industry and improve the economy for workers who were forced into unemployment situations when COVID-19 caused economic shutdowns and job losses.