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Oil and gas workers to benefit from Energy Rebound Program

GILLETTE (WNE) – The state is using CARES Act funding to help the recovery of the oil and gas industry.

Gov. Mark Gordon launched the Energy Rebound Program, which will use up to $15 million in CARES Act funding to provide business relief for oil and gas projects that were unable to be finished because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oil and gas operators are eligible for up to $500,000 for:

    • Completing drilled but previously uncompleted wells
    • Re-fracking wells
    • Plugging and abandoning idle wells.

“These funds will have a direct impact on Wyoming’s employment rate and put people back to work in our oil and gas sector which was impacted by COVID-19,” Gordon said in a press release. “It will provide opportunities for employees who lost jobs when drilling ceased.”

Wyoming is the eighth largest oil and gas producing state in the country. When global demand for oil plummeted due to COVID, work stopped almost immediately, with oil and gas companies conducting a few activities to safely stop ongoing drilling and reclamation activities. It left many projects in limbo.

The Energy Rebound Program will provide a stimulus to the economic recovery. Funds will be used to commence operations that would include the hiring of crews, many of whom would stay at hotels near the project, water acquisition, ordering of supplies and equipment for drilling and re-completions, and plugging and abandonment activities.

In 2019, the natural gas and oil industry paid $1.67 billion to state and local governments in Wyoming.