Lawton_Oklahoma United States Senator Jim Inhofe (R) and Congressman Dan Boren (D) have introduced a new bill, designed to give tax break and loosen regulations on low producing oil and gas wells. Oklahoma has more than 65,000 marginal wells that only produce 15 - sometimes less - barrels of oil per day. Those wells are responsible for 80% of the oil supplied by Oklahoma. "It really helps the economy in Oklahoma," said Petroleum Geologist David Moore. "There's probably 30,000-35,000 jobs that are created by these marginal wells that are producing today."
Moore says that the success of the marginal well legislation is important for prolonging the life of small marginal wells. He says that the longer they stay open, the more oil they produce. By giving a tax break to marginal producing wells, small oil companies save money, and can, therefore invest more in oil well exploration. "As far as marginal wells, the average produces 2.2 barrels of oil per day," said Moore. "A fellow can't go out and drill wells to find a well that will make two barrels a day - it's not economically feasible."
Moore says that whether or not the bill passes will not affect large oil companies. However, he says the more marginal wells forced to shut down will increase the prices consumers pay at the pump. Oklahoma State House Speaker Chris Benge, Tulsa Republican, says he plans to pursue energy legislation in 2009 that would include incentives for the use of compressed natural gas cars, and include tax credits to enable filling stations to sell natural gas. He says he is alarmed by the United States' dependence on foreign oil.
Count on 7News to keep you updated on the proposed legislation.