Natural Resources

Mark Watson


Agency Overview
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was established by the Wyoming State Legislature in February 1951 under W.S. §30-5-101 through §30-5-128 (LexisNexis 2017). The authority of the Commission to appoint a State Oil and Gas Supervisor and other employees is defined in W.S. §30-5-108, (LexisNexis 2017).

Agency Background & Structure
The WOGCC has 40 employees, one part time Assistant Attorney General, one part time Sr. Assistant Attorney General and an ETS Employee. For the 2021-2022 biennium, our proposed budget is $20,042,979. Our total budget for the 2019-2020 biennium is $17,331,016 none of which comes from the general fund. Our revenue is derived from the conservation tax and from fees on certain applications as allowed by statute. The conservation tax is a tax on oil
and gas sales paid by oil and gas operators, not the public at large. We have been granted primacy by the Environmental Protection Agency for the regulation of underground injection class II wells. We estimate that we will receive a grant reimbursement from the EPA for FY 2019 and 2020 of approximately $338,000.  We were just awarded $164,000 for our federal fiscal year 2019.

Six of our most important programs and/or functions are:

1. Permitting and maintaining records on wells regulated by WOGCC – approve oil/gas permits in a timely manner;
2. Matters set for hearing by the Commission or Examiners – dealing with such matters as spacing, additional wells, disputes;
3. Field Inspections – inspect drilling locations, production, plugging operations, monitor environmental conditions;
4. Underground Injection Control Program – manage Class II UIV program in compliance with primacy program from EPA;
5. Orphan well plugging – plugging wells in which the bonds were forfeited or not covered under any bond;
6. Website - generates a wealth of information to oil/gas operators, other agencies and the public at-large.