Wyoming has no operating oil rigs for 2nd time since 1884

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Workers closed Wyoming's last operating oil rig on Tuesday.

It is just the second time since 1884 that the state has had zero gas rigs in operation, according to Pete Obermueller, the executive director of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming.

“It is historic, but not in a great way,” Obermueller said. “There are so many jobs attached to these rigs, and now, people are painfully learning so much revenue is attached too. It’s mind boggling and hard to capture the impact.”

The organization estimates that one lost rig means roughly 100 lost jobs, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

Lyle Williams, a candidate for state senator, posted on social media a picture of the gas rig closing.

“Another sad day,” he wrote in the post. “Rigging down the last working drilling rig in Wyoming.”

The rig was located just south of Rock Springs near the Colorado border, Williams said.

The number of rigs typically indicates an area's oil and gas activity. In August 2019, the state had roughly 37 rigs in operation.

This year, diminished demand for oil due to the coronavirus pandemic and a global price war have depleted production. In April, oil future prices turned negative for the first time in history.

The state relies heavily on revenue from fossil fuels. The collapse in energy prices and the pandemic has led state analysts to predict a $1.5 billion revenue decline.