RAWLINS (WNE) — Gov. Mark Gordon has announced that up to $12 million of remaining Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be used on the Energy Rebound Program, …
RAWLINS (WNE) — Gov. Mark Gordon has announced that up to $12 million of remaining Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be used on the Energy Rebound Program, which is designed to get more people working in the energy industry.
In 2020, the Energy Rebound Program provided capital for oil and gas projects, including drilled but uncompleted ventures, workovers, and reclamation of oil and gas wells through the plugging and abandonment process, according to a press release.
“The Energy Rebound Program successfully provided opportunities for oil and gas industry employees who lost jobs when drilling ceased last year,” Gordon said. “This program will continue to provide economic benefits to this important industry, its workforce and the entire state of Wyoming.”
As Wyoming’s economy continues to improve, the oil and gas industry is lagging behind due to external market factors, the press release said. Currently there are nine drilling rigs operating in Wyoming, compared to more than 30 in February 2020.
These funds will once again target projects that bring immediate economic benefits, including Wyoming job growth and revenue, along with the environmental benefits of plugging and reclaiming oil and gas wells that are no longer in use, or near the end of their useful life.
“As energy demand continues to increase, private-land production states have seen a quicker rebound, one that has yet to reach Wyoming’s federally-owned resources. Given the success of the inaugural Energy Rebound Program — a jobs program at its core — Gov. Gordon’s decision to initiate a second round makes perfect sense,” said Pete Obermueller, president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming.
Gordon had previously allocated $30 million to the program last year. Top beneficiaries have included Devon Energy Production Co. ($5.5 million), Jonah Energy LLC ($2.5 million) and Samson Resources Co. LLC ($1.9 million), according to state accounting data provided to WyoFile.