Oil, gas drilling in the Rocky Mountain West near 2-decade high

Posted: Jun 23, 2011

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Whether it’s coal, uranium, oil or natural gas, Wyoming’s industry and political leaders proclaim that onerous regulations are dogging domestic energy development. Yet evidence continues to emerge suggesting otherwise.

This morning, Headwaters Economics released its statistical analysis, “Drilling Rig Activity Nears All-Time High,” demonstrating that oil and natural gas drilling in the United States has returned to pre-recession levels.

By late May 2011, there were 1,847 active rigs in the U.S., or 91 percent of the 2008 natural gas surge (2,031 rigs). That’s a major recovery from June 2009 when there were 875 active rigs nationwide.

Matthew Garrington of the Checks & Balances Project said the disconnect between actual drilling and production figures and claims that the West is under siege by bureaucrats gone wild is simple politics. High energy prices, said Garrington, are held up as evidence of too much regulation when evidence shows actual production remains tied to market fundamentals.


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