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Articles written by Heather Richards


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  • APRIL 15 - Chevron plans to buy Anadarko

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 11, 2019

    CASPER — With a $33 billion cash and stock deal, Chevron’s planned acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum will create a new super major oil firm, with uncertain impacts in Wyoming, where Anadarko represents one of the largest players in the state’s oil and gas business. The combined company’s first blush news was heavy on excitement for the Permian Basin — a prolific play in West Texas and New Mexico where both Anadarko and Chevron have a presence. Chevron will buy Anadarko as well as divest between $15 and $20 billion in assets in the next few... Full story

  • BLM approved drilling permits during shutdown

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune-WNE|Apr 4, 2019

    CASPER — Federal workers at the Bureau of Land Management approved 74 oil and gas drilling permits in Wyoming during the 35-day government shutdown earlier this year, according to a public records request submitted by a western environmental group. A partial shutdown shuttered some federal agencies in late December as Congress and President Donald Trump bickered over the White House’s desire to fund a $5 billion wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico. An estimated 800,000 workers were affected, with many banned from work until... Full story

  • Ozone levels puzzle officials

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 21, 2019

    CASPER — Joel Bousman wasn’t sure if ozone would be a problem Friday, despite a warning from the state. The snow covered the sage brush and the wind was less than 10 miles per hour — both bad signs. On the other hand, it had been overcast most of the day at the Sublette County commissioner’s ranch near Boulder — a small community about 12 miles southeast of Pinedale, within view of the Wind River Mountains. You need the right mix of factors to create ground-level ozone: sunlight, snow cover, little to no wind and, of course, emissions from the... Full story

  • Delegation criticizes oil, gas lease decision

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 21, 2019

    CASPER — Wyoming’s congressional delegation on Thursday slammed a federal decision blocking oil and gas drilling on 500 square miles of Wyoming land pending a climate change impact analysis. The stay on drilling is the result of a lawsuit fi led by the environmental group Wildearth Guardians, which protested the Obama-era Bureau of Land Management’s failure to consider the climate cost of leasing federal land for oil and gas drilling. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled in favor of Wildearth regarding 300,000 acres... Full story

  • Cloud Peak faces delisting from Stock Exchange

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune-WNE|Dec 29, 2018

    CASPER — The New York Stock Exchange has warned one of Wyoming’s largest coal producers that it could be delisted, following consistent weak performance of the company’s stock. Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy’s common stock has been trading below $1 per share at the close of the market for 30 days in a row, prompting a notification on Wednesday that the company had six months to remedy its low stock price or it would be delisted from the NYSE. Cloud Peak operates the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in Wyoming and the Spring Creek mine in Mont...

  • Wyoming personal income up thanks to oil industry

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune-WNE|Dec 28, 2018

    CASPER — A small contraction in mining activity in early summer dented the otherwise broad growth in Wyomingites’ personal income during the third quarter of the year, according to state economists. Personal income is the entire income individuals take in, from their wages or salaries to their unemployment or social security benefits. In Wyoming, personal income rose by 3.3 percent in late summer, or $284 million greater than the second quarter, according to federal counts from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth trend extended acr...

  • Energy, tourism will be affected by climate change, report says

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune-WNE|Nov 28, 2018

    CASPER — Climate change will most directly affect Wyoming’s tourism and outdoor recreation industries — the state’s second largest source of revenue — according to a major government report. But perhaps the most vulnerable industry to rising global temperatures, one that is threaded through the state’s entire economy, is energy. The report, which was released Friday, predicts billions in losses to the U.S. economy from unbridled climate change. President Trump told reporters he doesn’t believe its findings. But Wyoming’s congressional d...

  • Wyoming climbs out of bust

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Nov 24, 2018

    CASPER — The oil and gas industry continues to drive down unemployment rates in parts of Wyoming, though the state average remains higher than national numbers. The U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 3.7 percent compared to Wyoming’s 4.2 percent. The state’s gradual climb out of a simultaneous bust in coal, oil and gas has yet to fill the gaps in jobs and state income created by the downturn. But a year and a half of favorable crude prices has shifted job numbers, particularly in areas of the state where activity in the oil and gas field...

  • Commission weighs next step in gas flaring

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune-WNE|Sep 18, 2018

    CASPER — When state regulators noticed flaring in the gas fields of southern Wyoming recently, it was a matter of concern because Wyoming doesn’t allow burn-off from gas wells. But the story of flaring in the gas fields is complicated, posing a potential challenge to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. It’s a question of how to deal with spontaneous gas mucking up the traditional way of producing gas and transporting it via pipeline. BP operates about 1,800 wells across more than a half million net acres in the Wamsutter area,...

  • Report: Wyoming counties owed $42M in unpaid mineral taxes

    HEATHER RICHARDS, Casper Star-Tribune|Jan 19, 2018

    CASPER (AP) — Wyoming’s bust hit schools and counties particularly hard. Losses came from fewer students filling chairs, fewer shoppers in local stores and fewer workers in oil and gas fields and coal mines. But often overlooked during a budget crisis is unpaid taxes by the very companies hit hardest by a bust. A recent report from a local landowners group outlines 12 Wyoming counties that are short $42 million in delinquent property taxes going back a dozen years. “Our entire state is suffering following the most recent bust,” Powder River B...

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