US stripper oil wells on the increase

Sep 19, 2001 02:00 AM

Reversing a long decline, the number of marginal oil wells and oil production from stripper wells increased in 2000, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission reported. It said the number of marginal or "stripper" oil wells increased to 411,793, compared to 410,680 in 1999. Output rose to 326,208,000 barrel, up from 315,514,000 barrel in 1999.
That was the first increase in production since 1984, according to the IOGCC survey of 28 oil-producing states. The survey defines stripper oil wells as those producing 10 bpd or less and gas wells as those making 60 mm cfpd or less.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, IOGCC chairman-elect, said, "The states have demonstrated incentives and other legislation designed to encourage domestic oil and gas production are effective. At a time when everyone is concerned about our dependence on foreign oil, this shows we can meet more of our energy needs domestically."

IOGCC has surveyed stripper wells annually since the 1940s. Although the wells produce smallamounts of crude separately (averaging 2.16 bpd per well in 2000), together they produce 29 % of US oil output. "Since the 'oil bust' around 1986, we have seen these numbers decrease steadily, until 2000," said Charles Bowlin, the consultant who conducted the stripper well survey for IOGCC.
After the oil price collapse of the late 1990s, many states passed laws to keep oil and gas producers from plugging what were at the time unprofitable wells. State regulatory agencies also modified their oil and gas rules to give producers some relief. The price rebound of 1999-2000 also has improved the economics of marginal wells, IOGCC said.

Source: OGJ-Online
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