Laramie, Wy – State officials say drilling for coal-bed methane in Wyoming is lagging 20 percent behind last year because of difficulties in getting water discharge permits.
However, regulatory officials say they expect the pace of coal-bed methane drilling to pick up because seasonal restrictions were lifted June 15. Crews are now able to do field work without delays for snow and muddy conditions.
Permits to discharge the produced groundwater associated with coal-bed methane production are separate from drilling permits.
The president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, said getting water discharge permits can take a long time.
He said coal-bed methane companies don't want to drill wells that can't be put into production.