By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, WY – The head of Wyoming's petroleum association says the slumping natural gas industry has led to fewer rigs drilling in the state. Bruce Hinchey says there are about 75 rigs in operation today, compared to almost 110 a year ago. He also attributes the decline to the cost of drilling, and the difficulty of getting permits. He says some large oil and gas companies have transferred resources away from Wyoming where the market is more favorable.
They've moved the exploration budgets into other statres because they don't have the same problems they have in Wyoming," Hinchey says. "They've got these dollars available and they're trying to meet this demand, so they are moving it elsewhere.
Hinchey says natural gas production is still high, but he says it could begin to fall if prices stay suppressed. He says the impact of the declining rig numbers won't be felt unless it continues into next year.