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Wold Drilling

The Nabors X21 rig operates at a Wold Energy Partners well site March 16 north of Rolling Hills in Converse County. 

Wyoming lawmakers plan to take a “holistic” approach to oil and gas regulations ahead of next year’s legislative session to catch up with advances in the industry driven by horizontal development in the Cowboy State.

In a joint statement from the chairmen of the House and Senate minerals committees Thursday, the lawmakers noted that bills brought up in the session -- which concluded Thursday -- drew attention to the need to modernize statutes for the bedrock industry.

Industry bills largely failed or were punted to the interim in the last few weeks as lawmakers repeatedly ran into complications with how the rules work today and who would be affected by changes -- from land owners to E&P companies. 

Rep. Mike Greear, R-Worland, and Sen. Jim Anderson, R-Casper, noted in their joint statement that the task ahead would require additional time and work.

“This endeavor will require heavy lifting from many including legislators, the executive branch, private industry and the nonprofit sector,” the lawmakers wrote. “Dialogue will be key and compromise inevitable but, in the end, we hope to have a Wyoming that is better suited to move oil and gas production into the future.”

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Follow energy reporter Heather Richards on Twitter @hroxaner

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Energy Reporter

Heather Richards writes about energy and the environment. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, she moved to Wyoming in 2015 to cover natural resources and government in Buffalo. Heather joined the Star Tribune later that year.

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