American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017 - 109

culating throughout the state's industry
circles. Hinchey says he senses new confidence in an oil and gas revival across
the Cowboy State.
He reports 25 drilling rigs running in
Wyoming at the beginning of July, up
from only six rigs a year ago. "The drilling
decision break-even points in most of the
Powder River are pretty good and companies are having success with longer
horizontals. I hope to see us up to about
40 rigs by the end of the year," he says.
And from the southwestern part of
the state, more uplifting news has emerged,
Hinchey notes. In late June, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Pinedale office released a draft environmental impact
statement which restarted a process that
had gone dormant under the previous administration.
Initially proposed by Encana in 2011,
the EIS, if approved, allows natural gas
development across Sublette County,
Wy., south of Pinedale. The EIS process
was sustained for the past three years
under Jonah Energy, which was formed
in 2014, when it acquired Encana's Jonah
Field acreage. Earlier this summer, Jonah
Energy added 1,200 producing wells on
27,000 net acres when it acquired leases
from LINN Energy.
Referred to as the Normally Pressurized
Lance Natural Gas Development Project,
or NPL, the draft EIS would, among
other things, allow development in a portion of the Jonah Field in southwest
Wyoming that includes the sage grouse's
"only known concentrated winter habitat,"
published reports note.
Issued June 26, 2017, the draft's preferred
alternative backs the company's proposal
to allow gas development on federal leases
in Sublette County. The area covers 140,859
acres, of which 135,655 acres are surface
administered by the bureau.
As proposed, the project includes 3,500
wells drilled at a pace of 350 a year, says
the BLM document. Despite a bottomhole density of 40 acres, multi-well pads
would include as many as 64 wells with
surface areas ranging from 5.5 to 19
acres, it notes.
"Securing the EIS will allow Jonah to
invest in the field for the long term,"
Hinchey observes.

Finding Balance
The energizing attitude that appears to
emanate from the nation's capital will be
reflected in the sessions planned for this
year's PAW convention, Hinchey indicates.
"We have a lot of important ground
to cover this year," he says. "But we also
want members to have a good time at the
fishing tournament, golf outing and the
chairman's reception and dinner on Tues-

PAW Annual Meeting - Casper, Wy.
Tuesday, Aug. 15

7 a.m. Breakfast Buffet, Ramkota Hotel,
Terrace
7 a.m. Trade Show Opens
8-11:30 a.m. PAW Committee Meetings
Government & Public Relations, Taxation,
and Membership Committees, Teton Room
Bobby Rolston, Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
Joe Milczewski, Black Hills Corp.
Jack Blomstrom, True Companies LLC
Environmental/E&P, Transportation, and
Safety Committees, North Room
Nancy Vehr, Air Quality Administrator,
Wyoming DEQ
Kevin Frederick, Water Quality Administrator, Wyoming DEQ
Public Lands Committee, Wyoming Theatre
PLC Meeting
Steven Paulsen, EcoPoint
Katie Schroeder, Davis, Graham & Stubbs
Bret Sumner, Beatty & Wozniak
Robert Veldman, KCOE
Ryan Lance, Sweetwater River Conservancy Conservation Bank
Gary Beauvais, WYNDD
11:30 a.m. Buffet Luncheon
1 p.m. PAW PAC Golf Tournament, Casper
Municipal Golf Course
Central and South
6 p.m. Chairman's Reception & Dinner

Wednesday, Aug. 16

7 a.m. Continental Breakfast, Ramkota
Hotel, Terrace

day and at the Toolpushers Supply Co.
barbeque on Wednesday."
The association's annual convention
should balance social activity with weighty
issues such as tax policy and insights
from policymakers, Hinchey observes.
"I think our agenda finds that balance,"
he considers.
The first morning of the convention
features separate, concurrent sessions for
PAW's primary committees, with a combined session for the Legal, Government
& Public Relations, Taxation, and Membership committees; another for the Environmental/E&P, Transportation, and
Safety committees; and a third for the
Public Lands Committee.
Wednesday's agenda features updates
from state and federal regulators followed
by election of PAW officers at a general
session and political updates from the
three members of Wyoming's congressional
delegation. Governor Matt Mead is scheduled as the lunch keynote speaker.
Hinchey adds that this year's convention
will include updates from state officials
on proposed revisions to oil and gas regulations, most of which aim to clarify
rules and eliminate redundancies. They
also are intended to help prevent accidents
such as the home explosion that occurred

7 a.m. Trade Show Opens
7:45-10 a.m. Seminars
Taxation, Government & Public Relations,
and Membership Committees, Teton
Room
Environmental/E&P, and Public Lands
Committees, Wyoming Theatre
Opening and Speaker Introductions
Tom Kropatsch, WOGCC Deputy Supervisor
Mary Jo Rugwell, BLM State Director
Mike McGrady, Wyoming Governor Policy Adviser
Tyler Abbott, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service
Bridget Hill, Office of State Lands &
Investments Director
Bob Budd, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural
Resource Trust Executive Director
10 a.m.-Noon General Session, South and
Central Rooms
PAW Chairman's Report
Election of PAW Board of Directors
Report from Wyoming Congressional Delegates
Senator Michael Enzi
Senator John Barrasso
Congresswoman Liz Cheney
Noon-1 p.m. Buffet Luncheon
Keynote Speaker: Wyoming Governor
Matt Mead
1:15 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting
Board Members, Staff and Committee
Chairs Only

in Firestone, Co., in April, which was attributed to a nearby abandoned well.
"The Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission wants to clearly define
an abandoned well and the scope of an
operator's responsibilities," he describes.
"After what happened in Colorado this
spring, the commission feels it has a duty
to remind operators to plug abandoned
wells or show why they should not."
He adds that officials from the
Wyoming Dept. of Revenue will join ongoing discussions on changes to the state's
ad valorem tax and possible modification
of the tax code to allow for discounted
cash-flow tax accounting.

Different Venue
After many years hosting its annual
convention the third week of August at
Casper's Parkway Plaza Hotel, PAW decided to make a change to a new venue,
Hinchey reports.
The new venue, the Ramkota Hotel,
across the North Platte River, offers the
features required for hosting the convention
and was happy to have PAW's business,
Hinchey says.
Key to the decision, Hinchey says,
SEE VENUE PAGE 115

AUGUST 2017 109



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017

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