CHEYENNE – Gov. Mark Gordon has announced that up to $12 million of remaining CARES Act funds will be used to fund the Energy Rebound Program, which is designed to get more people working in the energy industry.

In 2020, the Energy Rebound Program provided badly needed capital for specified oil and gas projects, including drilled but uncompleted ventures, workovers, and reclamation of oil and gas wells through the plugging and abandonment process.

“The Energy Rebound Program successfully provided opportunities for oil and gas industry employees who lost jobs when drilling ceased last year,” Gordon said in a news release. “This program will continue to provide economic benefits to this important industry, their workforce and the entire state of Wyoming.”

As Wyoming’s economy continues to improve, the oil and gas industry is lagging behind due to external market factors. Currently, there are nine drilling rigs operating in Wyoming, compared to more than 30 in February of 2020.

These funds will once again target projects that bring immediate economic benefits, including Wyoming job growth and revenue, along with the environmental benefits of plugging and reclaiming oil and gas wells that are no longer in use, or near the end of their useful life.

Last year, industry had just six weeks to identify and complete projects. This time, the projects will need to be completed by the end of the year. Once again, there will be a cap of $500,000 for each approved project. However, this year, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will be administering the program.

Oil and gas operators will need to certify the number of jobs created for Wyoming workers. To qualify as a Wyoming worker, the worker must be a resident of Wyoming at the time of the application. The WOGCC will accept applications from June 15-25.

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