The current rig count and number of permits submitted to the state show that much of the activity is being centered in Converse County and other areas around the southern Powder River Basin.
A look at the latest data on drilling permits furnished by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission shows that the industry is focused more on the northern section of the Niobrara than in or around Laramie County. In fact, that county has seen a drop in the number of drilling permits, while the southern part of the Powder River Basin, particularly Johnson and Converse counties, is seeing an uptick.
The WOGCC said there were 109 permits to drill in Laramie County during the first seven months of 2012, compared to 142 permits for the same time period last year. The state numbers show that permits for oil and gas in Converse County have gone from 199 in the first seven months of 2011 to 296 for a comparable time period in 2012. Permits for Campbell County this year are about the same as 2011.
Bob King, interim head of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, agreed that the state’s numbers and reports from the operators indicate the areas to the north are proving to be more lucrative, at least so far.