As states and local jurisdictions enact partial or full shutdowns of business, it is critical for PESA to ensure that all elements of our sector and the critical supply chain remain open and permitted to operate throughout the crisis. Below, please find a detailed list of the current orders in the states and jurisdictions where many of our members operate.
Experts say more layoffs are expected in the state due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases and less demand for fuel. A rise in bankruptcies and mergers will also contribute to more furloughs and layoffs.
The state of Texas is expected to have a $4.6 billion shortfall by the end of its two-year budget cycle due to the struggling economy and volatility in oil markets, according to Comptroller Glenn Hegar. Lawmakers will debate using some of the state’s $8.7 billion rainy-day fund next spring. Texas was expected to bring in $122 billion in revenue. The current budget is at $251 billion, including state and federal expenses.
Texas may be making progress in slowing spread of COVID-19, but while daily infection totals have leveled off, they have done so at record highs.
Texas has had more than 403,000 cases of the virus.
The state’s energy industry continues to feel the effects of the downtown. The Oklahoma Petroleum Alliance and other experts say activity will likely remain low while companies assess cash flow, assets and costs.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, more municipalities are enacting mask mandates, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Oklahoma City health officials say outbreaks are most likely in office settings, restaurants, day cares and faith-based venues. Two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, Gov. Kevin Stitt says he has been cleared to return to work.
Oklahoma has had more than 33,700 cases of the virus.
New Mexico’s oil and gas industry could take up to three years to recover from the current market collapse, according to experts. The Permian had 125 rigs as of July 10, down from 437 in 2019.
The state Oil Conservation District released a proposed rule last month to align produced water regulations with new mandates established in the state Produced Water Act, which was signed into law in 2019. The rule amendment only addresses produced water within the oil and gas sector, and would explicitly allow oil and gas operators to reuse produced water for drilling, producing or enhanced recovery of oil and gas without the need for a permit.
New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department unveiled a draft rule on July 20 in conjunction with the state’s first comprehensive methane regulations. The rule proposes 98% natural gas capture from the oil and gas industry by 2026 across two phases.
New Mexico hit a record high this week of COVID-19 cases in a single day, thanks to continued growth in southern and eastern New Mexico, as well as a breakout in a correctional facility.
New Mexico has had more than 19,500 cases of the virus.
Plugging Louisiana’s 4,300 abandoned oil and gas wells could cut methane emissions by 558 metric tons a year and employ 1,000 workers full-time for a year, according to a Washington, DC think tank study. Energy policy experts have been making the case that the next federal stimulus package should include money towards plugging abandoned wells.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday that Louisiana is now the first in the nation in per capita COVID-19 cases. Louisiana’s current mask mandate and restrictions on businesses, churches and other activities will expire on August 7. Gov. Edwards said he will announce whether or not the regulations will be extended prior to that date. He also said that data will determine how and when schools reopen in August.
Louisiana has had more than 111,000 cases of the virus.
On July 24, Gov. Jared Polis announced he would oppose ballot measures in 2020 and 2022 that are related to oil and gas in order to allow Senate Bill 181 to take full effect. The bill, passed in 2019, was designed to make changes to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commissions, adding “additional public welfare protections,” and implementing new rules related to oil and gas operations.
Multiple initiatives concerning oil and gas regulations have been filed targeting the 2020 ballot.
The state is also scaling back a proposed mill levy increase on oil and gas companies after revising its projections of commodity prices and production upward. The COGCC said it will consider raising the levy from the current 1.1 mills to 1.5 mills. The original proposal was an increase to 1.7 mills, the maximum allowed.
Gov. Polis announced this week that coronavirus cases have been steadily rising each week, with the most recent seven-day average hitting an all-time high over the weekend, above the previous peak in April. Colorado has added more than 900 cases in just the past two days.
Colorado has had more than 45,000 cases of the virus.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection received about 30,000 comments on a new rule that would require VOC emissions to be cut by 4,400 tons a year and methane emissions to be cut by 75,000 tons.
A report by the Environmental Defense Fund shows that Pennsylvania oil and gas producers emit 1.1 million tons of methane each year. The finalized rule will be submitted to the Environmental Quality Board, an independent panel of governors. The rule is expected to go into effect in 2021.
On July 28, Pennsylvania health officials reported the highest spike in new cases that the state has seen this month, with Allegheny County showing its second-highest spike in hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
Pennsylvania has had more than 114,000 cases of the virus.
The recent court decision denying a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline will impact Ohio’s oil and gas industry, as it removes the ability for producers to drill more wells, as well as pay more taxes and royalties to Ohio landowners.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned Ohio and other states that the rising coronavirus cases are concerning. Test positivity cases have been rising, an early indication that an outbreak is worsening. Ohio reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on July 27, based on a seven day average.
Ohio recently saw the highest number of cases in a single day since reopening the state. Nineteen Ohio counties, covering about 60% of Ohio’s population, remain under a Level 3, “red” designation due to “very high exposure and spread” of coronavirus. All of those counties remain under a mandatory mask order. Franklin and the contiguous counties — except for Madison — have each been designated “red.”
Ohio has had more than 86,000 cases of the virus.
Additional relief could be coming to Wyoming’s oil and gas companies, as the legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee has voted in favor of a bill that would incentivize production in the state.
It would allow producers to receive a six-month severance – or state mineral production – tax exemption on new oil production in Wyoming once prices get to a high enough point. Last August there were 37 rigs in the state compared to one rig that is currently running in Sweetwater County.
As Wyoming reported a single-day record for confirmed coronavirus cases on July 28. Gov. Mark Gordon has announced the state’s current public health orders will remain until Aug. 15. The orders include specific guidance for school openings and limited public gatherings.
Wyoming has had more than 2,500 cases of the virus.
Critics are calling for the state to cancel the upcoming lease sale of more than 100,000 acres near some of Utah’s most well-known national parks. Grand County accounts for 80,000 of the acres and local officials warn the sale would threaten a thriving recreation economy. The outdoor industry brings $12.5 billion yearly into the state.
COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise across the state, with hospital beds occupied by more coronavirus patients than at any time since the beginning of the pandemic.
Utah has had almost 39,000 cases of the virus.
If you have questions or need help working with any state or local authorities, please contact Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.