At yesterday’s hearings, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“WOGCC”) released a proposed rule aimed at addressing the increased volume of drilling permits filed in the Cowboy State. The formal bulletin entitled, “WOGCC Proposes Rule to Address Volume of Drilling Permits,” can be found here.

If approved, the proposed rule, released in accordance with Wyoming’s rulemaking guidelines, will change several aspects concerning the filing of Applications for Permits to Drill (“APDs”), according to the bulletin:

  • Going forward, Wyoming will remain a “first to
    file state” for a two-year period
  • After the expiration of the initial two-year
    period, other working interest owners within a drilling and spacing unit
    (“DSU”) will be able to file APDs with a time limit placed on the operator to
    drill the well
  • A new checklist will be provided for information
    to be included in and submitted with an APD from (i) the operator who is not
    the current operator of the DSU and (ii) the operator of the DSU who holds the
    oldest pending APD or producing well

To review the
proposed rule, click
here
.  Prior to the comment
period, a public meeting will be held to explain the rule and answer any
questions. Written public comments will be collected and reviewed during the
45-day comment period.

Stay tuned as we
will be monitoring how this proposed rule develops! This is a big proposed
change that could have many potential consequences for operators.