Wyoming Briefs Aug. 10 2023

 

August 10, 2023



Wyoming Insight report for July says oil, gas up, mining sector improving

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Oil prices have increased, and natural gas prices will follow suit, according to the July 2023 issue of the Wyoming Insight, an energy index and business indicators report for the state.

Average active oil rigs were 17 in July, and the conventional gas rig count was 3. A year ago, there were 18 oil rigs and 4 conventional gas rigs.

“Natural gas spot prices at the national benchmark (Henry Hub) increased slightly,” said Dylan Bainer, principal economist for the state’s Economic Analysis Division. “Spot prices at the Opal Hub, which mostly reflect markets in the West (particularly California), also increased compared to last month.”

The July 2023 natural gas price at the Opal Hub averaged $3.57 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), $1.45 higher than the June 2023 average.The Henry Hub natural gas price averaged $2.55/MMBtu in July, $0.36 higher than last month.

Mining sector sales and use tax revenues continue to improve.

“July sales & use tax collections from the mining sector were up $1.7 million (+19.1%) year-over-year,” Bainer said. This is the 23rd consecutive month mining sector collections have increased year-over-year.

Total collections summed to $89.8 million, $9.8 million (+12.2%) more than July last year.

“Oil and gas employment in the state numbered 9,100 jobs in June 2023, 500 more than June last year,”said Bainer. Before the COVID-19 pandemic started to have a large impact on the economy in April of 2020, oil and gas employment in the state numbered nearly 12,000 jobs.

Mining employment is still down compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Compared to February 2020, employment in the mining sector in June 2023 was down 2,600 jobs.

This story was published on August 10, 2023.

Sundance City Council considers residents’ appeal for privacy fence

SUNDANCE (WNE) — The Sundance City Council heard a variance request from residents John and Pam Davis at its meeting on Tuesday.

Pam presented the request to erect a six-foot fence down one side of the couple’s property, and she explained it would be for protection against the neighbor, of whom she is frightened.

The neighbor, she claimed, has urinated on her dog, peered through her windows and taken her dog inside his home.

The fence would provide privacy and make it more difficult for the neighbor to target the couple’s house.

Despite expressing great sympathy for the couple’s plight, the council ruled it could not fulfill the request as made – but it was able to offer a compromise.

The problem, said Mayor Paul Brooks, is that the city does not allow six-foot fences at the front of residential properties.

If every house had a fence of this kind, he said, the city would look like a “fort” or a penitentiary.

Though the council accepted that the Davises are facing extenuating circumstances, it was fearful of setting a precedent.

As stated by Council Member Randy Stevenson, it would be opening a “can of worms.”

A motion was made to grant the variance, but it died for lack of a second.

Instead, the suggestion was made to allow the six-foot fence down the side of the property but only out past the front face of the home for ten of the 20 available feet. At that point, the fence would need to be only four feet high.

A friendly amendment was added to the motion, which was then passed.

This story was published on August 10, 2023.

 
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