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Wold Drilling

A drilling rig for Wold Energy Partners located outside of Rolling Hills in October 2017.

Have an event, trend or general energy happening you’d like to see in the Energy Journal newsletter? Send it to Star-Tribune energy reporter Heather Richards at heather.richards@trib.com. Sign up for the newsletter at www.trib.com/energyjournal

Last week in numbers

Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $54.64, Brent (ICE) $63.48

Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $4.53, Wyoming Pool $5.37, Opal $5.38

Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 1,079, Wyoming 28

Quote of the Week 

“People really got on board with high oil prices. That trajectory, it was only going in one direction." 

-- Robert Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at UW on crude prices.

Turkey day power swings

Electricity demand falls across the country on Thanksgiving, and Wyoming's no exception, with a peak in usage arriving late morning as people prepare holiday dinner. The holiday carries a number of electricity anomalies, according to the Energy Information Administration. 

Waiting on the grouse

Federal changes to sage grouse management plans in Wyoming have been expected for months. But the release date for sage grouse strategies from the Bureau of Land Management is uncertain as other states struggle to align their responsibilities with the administration's.

The bird's conservation in Wyoming is long established and helped guide the federal policies that are now up for revision. Wyoming sage grouse leaders do not expect unexpected changes in the final version, but the governor's office will have a last chance to weigh in on those plans before they are effective. 

With the current timeline it's unclear whether that responsibility will fall to Gov. Matt Mead or Gov.-elect Mark Gordon. 

Wind money

Two wind farms upcoming in southern Wyoming will drive more than $5 million to local communities. The state provides community impact funds during construction on large industrial projects to offset the influx of itinerant workers.

These two wind farms are among a handful that are planned in the next few years. 

Oil drives down unemployment

Unemployment in industry areas, including Converse County and Sweetwater County, continue to drop, according to recent data from state economists.

From September to October, Sweetwater's unemployment fell from 4 percent to 3.5 percent. Converse unemployment is down to 3.1 percent, compared to a national rate of 3.7 percent.  

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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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