Governor Mark Gordon has announced that he will launch a program on Wednesday designed to assist Wyoming's economic recovery, while also boosting employment in the oil and gas industry, Wyoming's biggest job creator.

According to a press release from the Governor's office, the Energy Rebound Program "will utilize up to $15 million in CARES Act funding to provide business relief targeted towards drilled, but uncompleted oil and gas wells (DUCs), wells that were unable to be recompleted, and plugging and abandonment (P&A) projects which could not be finished due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Gordon said the Energy Rebound Program will reimburse operators for the work they have done on completions, recompletions, workovers, and/or plugging or abandonments before December 30, 2020. The program is offering up to $500,000 per project.

"When global demand for oil plummeted due to COVID, work stopped almost immediately in the oil and gas industry," Gordon stated. "This program is tailored to provide opportunities for employees who lost jobs when drilling ceased."

The Wyoming Business Council will begin accepting applications at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 18th and they will be accepted through 10 a.m. Monday, November 23rd.

While this doesn't offer much time, Gordon said that the application process itself should be relatively simple. Operators are encouraged to start preparing information for the application as soon as possible. This includes basic well data, type of project (completion, recompletion/workover, or P&A), estimated start and end dates of projects, estimated production, costs of projects and more.

Applicants who are accepted must be able to spend the funds allocated to them by December 30 of this year. The press release said that priority will be given to projects that provide the greatest immediate economic and employment benefit to Wyoming. Other factors, per the release, include estimated time of start and completion of the project; completeness of the application; estimated amount of increased production of oil and gas and the ability to commence P&A projects in a timely fashion.

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If projects have equal standing when it comes to economic benefits, the date of the application will be used as a tie-breaker.

Randall Luthi, the Chief Energy Advisor to Governor Gordon said that they "will maximize the impact these dollars have on restoring economic and employment opportunities in Wyoming."

For those interested, information webinars will be held at 8am on Tuesday, November 17th and Thursday, November 19th. To register for the webinars, and to get more information about the Energy Rebound Program, visit wyomingbusiness.org/ERP.