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Deer Migration

A mule deer doe in the Sublette herd jumps as she is released in the Red Desert while wearing a GPS tracking collar.

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Last week in numbers

Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $67.75, Brent (ICE) $76.83

Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $2.93, Wyoming Pool $2.34, Opal $2.36

Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 1,048, Wyoming 31

Quote of the Week 

“We don’t want development inside the corridors, but we think we can work with those companies. They are required to work with us.”

-- Renny Mackay, spokesman for Game and Fish, on oil and gas sales in the mule deer corridor. 

A billion tons

More than 1 billion tons of Wyoming coal is locked in pending lease applications, some from many years ago. Though the federal government has tightened timelines and cleared red tape for fossil fuel development, the Powder River Basin coal industry by and large just isn't looking for new coal reserves.  

Jobs are up, but still down

Federal job counts added 400 oil and gas jobs to Wyoming for each of the first three months of the year, an amendment to earlier estimates. The industry's uptick is drawing in more workers, but Wyoming is still significantly down from years past. 

Leasing and mule deer

The Bureau of Land Management's third and fourth quarter sales could set records, but the parcels that intersect with the Red Desert to Hoback migration corridor have sparked controversy. 

Wyoming has tried to find a compromise, with the Game and Fish Department suggesting the use of lease notices that will force companies to collaborate with wildlife officials. But others ask why the state isn't being firmer and keeping potential drilling out of the corridor, with strict provisions at the leasing stage. 

In other news … 

The Bureau of Land Management's third quarter oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico netted close to $1 billion in bonus bids. The Wyoming sale opens next week. 

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Follow energy reporter Heather Richards on Twitter @hroxaner


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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