STATE - LEGISLATIVE: Severance Taxes – Louisiana. (Update to 10/19/20 Weekly Report) As part of the legislature’s 30-day Special Session, known as the Second Extraordinary Session, HB 29 was introduced by Rep. Phillip DeVillier (R). Although the bill, which would have suspended severance taxes on production from certain oil wells, passed the legislature it was vetoed by Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on November 11, 2020. Specifically, the legislation would have exempted oil produced from any newly drilled or from a completed well undergoing well enhancements that require a Department of Natural Resources permit such as re-entries, workovers or plug backs from the severance tax. The exemption would have applied to production on or after October 1 and before December 31, 2025. The exemption would have expired after 24 months or until the payout of the well cost was achieved, whichever occurred first. Read more.
STATE - REGULATORY: Mission Change Rulemaking – Colorado. (Update to 10/19/20 Weekly Report) On November 23,the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) announced they have unanimously adopted SB 19-181 new Mission Change Rules, Alternative Location Analysis and Cumulative Impacts which will become effective January 15, 2021. (See all the rulemakings here and COGCC Rulemaking Fact Sheet detailing the changes here.) As AAPL has previously reported, the rulemaking includes changes to the practice of flaring and venting, increasing well setbacks, and environmental considerations. According to the COGCC, this “concludes four months of comprehensive oil and gas rulemakings that increase protections for Colorado’s public health, safety, welfare, wildlife and environmental resources.” The COGCC noted, “The rulemakings were required to implement the change to the COGCC’s mission from ‘fostering’ to ‘regulating’ oil and gas development in a manner that protects public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources.” COGCC Chair Jeff Robbins said, “Over the past months, the Commission took public comment on all the rules, heard testimony from over 90 parties and diverse stakeholders, conducted hundreds of hours of discussion and deliberation during the rulemaking hearings. The rules not only meet the spirit and mandates of SB 19-181, but they were done so with a unanimous vote and largely with consensus from all sides.” For its part, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) said it will take the COGCC at its word that application for permits to drill “will be issued accordingly to keep our industry thriving under the highest global standards.” Accordingto Dan Haley, COGA President and CEO, “Three months of non-stop rulemaking for Colorado’s energy workers and regulators is not common practice, so what’s being done at the COGCC is nothing less than transformative. We have a long way to go to finalize and understand all of the implementation hurdles that lie ahead.” The COGCC also announced it will take up additional rulemakings at future hearings, including Financial Assurances around oil and gas development, Worker Safety,and the enactment of Permit Fees in 2021. Read more.INDUSTRY NEWS: U.S. petroleum demand continues rebound. On November 24, the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. petroleum demand was up 5.5% for the latest monthly statistical report. While still showing a year-over-year 9% decrease in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past few months have shown a steady rebound in demand.Read more.