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Petroleum Association of Wyoming says federal oil and gas lease ban affects future of production

After last week’s decision from the federal government to continue the pause on federal oil and gas leases, the Petroleum Association of Wyoming said that this decision will really affect the future production of oil in the state.
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Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Last week, the federal government continued its pause on federal oil and gas leases. The federal government owns 48% of the land in Wyoming.

21 out of 23 Wyoming counties are oil and gas producers, so the government’s decision will certainly have an impact on Wyoming.

“The state of Wyoming receives bonuses from those leases on a quarterly basis, and now that we’re in our second quarter where those sales have not happened the state of Wyoming has received no money from those,” said Petroleum Association of Wyoming Communications Director Ryan McConnaughey in an interview about the impact of the federal government’s decision.

The effects won’t just be immediate, said McConnaughey. This will really affect future production in Wyoming and the planning process for oil and gas producers.

“On federal lands, it’s heavily regulated, and so it takes years, a year or more, to get permits to even think about drilling,” said McConnaughey. “And then it may take several years to piece together acreage to have a viable operation.”

Wyoming is the number one producer of natural gas and the number two producer of oil on federal lands.

McConnaughey said it’s important to note that the ban hasn’t affected the demand for oil and gas, but it will shift production to outside the United States.

“We believe that instead of limiting development here on federal lands, where it is heavily regulated, we should be producing here, and we think that’s better for the environment,” said McConnaughey. “It’s better for the country. It’s better for Wyoming.”

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