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Last week in numbers
Friday oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $51.20, Brent (ICE) $60.28
Natural gas weekly averages: Henry Hub $4.39, Wyoming Pool $4.78, Opal $4.83
Baker Hughes rig count: U.S. 1,071, Wyoming 35 (The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's Nov. 12 rig count from Drillinginfo was 43.)
Quote of the Week
“They don’t know how to mine coal.”
Mike Dalpiaz, vice president of the UMWA District 22 that represents Kemmerer miners, regarding the Westmoreland bankruptcy
Westmoreland's CFO announced his resignation last week, citing personal reasons. The company is still working through its Chapter 11 case down in Houston bankruptcy court, with miners fighting to hold on to their contracts when Westmoreland inevitably sells Kemmerer to the highest bidder.
Coal port woes
The company proposing a port on the Washington coast has lost an important legal battle with the state. Washington state has blocked the port by holding up a water quality permit. The company sued, but the court held up the state's decision.
Wyoming gas prices drift
Gas prices are closely tied to the price of crude. But though oil prices have dropped since October, retail gas in Casper and other areas of Wyoming remains high compared to some other regions of the country.
A company, formerly headquartered in Wyoming, will pay workers for unpaid overtime in a settlement ordered by the Department of Labor. The settlement affects employees in Gillette, Cheyenne and Rock Springs.
Lease sale slumps
The BLM's speedy leasing process for oil and gas auctions was tripped up by a judge concerning leases in sage grouse habitat.
The result was a very small sale that netted just $2,000 for Wyoming.
Bird depends on feds
Sage grouse plans have been revised by the Trump administration and those changes are good or bad, depending on who you talk to. In any case, the tightrope walk Wyoming has been on for years continues as the changes allow more state authority but also depend heavily on what the Bureau of Land Management does on the ground.
Flash gas contained
Wyoming oil and gas regulators say the challenge of flash gas in the Wamsutter field is under control and new rules won't be needed at this time to address the flaring that was going on in the gas field.