official nebraska government website

Drilling Permits Issued for
Development and Exploratory Wells in
Nebraska

The number of permits for development and exploratory wells includes both crude oil wells and natural gas wells. In 2012, the number of development permits issued dropped by 53 percent offsetting the 50–percent increase the previous year. The number of exploratory permits issued increased 20 percent from the number of permits issued in 2011.

In 2011, the number of development permits issued jumped 50 percent while the number of exploratory permits issued was steady at 75 although was 2 permits less than in 2010. In 2010, the number of development permits issued nearly doubled and the number of exploratory permits issued more than doubled with the rise of the crude oil price. In 2009, the number of permits issued fell to levels which hadn't been seen since 2004. This was a drop in both permit categories of nearly 80 percent from 2008. An increasingly favorable economic environment in 2008, which included high crude oil prices, had driven up the number of drilling permits issued. Drilling permits issued for exploratory wells nearly doubled in 2008 from 2007 whereas drilling permits issued for development wells increased 13 percent. Development well permits had tripled in 2007 from 2006. The number of both types of permits peaked in 1981 with development well permits reaching 374 and exploratory well permits reaching 354.

chart showing Drilling Permits Issued for Development and Exploratory Wells in Nebraska for the years 1975 through 2012.

Drilling Permits Issued for
Development Wells in Nebraska
1975 – 2013

(Number of Permits)

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Total1
Development
Development
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Total1
2013 5 8 6 10 4 14 10 10 NA NA NA NA NA
2012 4 5 7 4 12 11 7 4 2 7 2 6 50
2011 4 0 11 17 7 16 6 14 8 13 7 8 107
2010 5 1 9 7 10 8 3 5 6 10 6 8 73
2009 5 1 0 4 1 4 4 0 11 2 2 13 42
2008 2 5 24 24 15 32 15 4 26 7 9 2 165
2007 3 10 2 1 5 6 22 43 7 15 21 7 146
2006 5 2 4 2 3 2 8 2 3 7 1 3 48
2005 0 3 2 3 5 5 12 8 4 5 5 3 54
2004 1 0 1 132 1 0 9 6 0 1 6 1 42
2003 2 0 1 0 3 0 5 4 1 0 1 5 25
2002 1 0 0 0 3 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 15
2001 0 6 0 0 2 3 2 0 0 0 3 3 19
2000 1 3 1 4 2 2 7 1 0 2 2 1 27
1999 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 2 3 11
1998 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 1 2 0 2 15
1997 5 5 4 4 6 4 1 2 12 10 4 10 67
1996 1 4 4 5 2 4 4 3 3 2 5 2 39
1995 3 2 1 0 3 2 5 2 1 3 3 1 28
1994 2 5 3 0 1 3 4 1 1 1 0 9 30
1993 2 3 5 5 3 3 5 14 6 16 5 2 69
1992 4 5 9 3 2 1 4 3 7 8 1 5 52
1991 16 3 10 11 8 12 4 5 3 7 1 4 84
1990 4 7 7 5 5 3 6 8 8 7 3 4 67
1989 1 4 6 3 6 2 0 6 5 4 5 6 47
1988 0 3 5 9 9 10 5 6 4 6 4 6 67
1987 5 8 5 6 14 11 9 6 6 9 6 7 92
1986 9 4 3 4 1 4 2 1 6 4 7 5 50
1985 23 9 10 12 7 8 8 8 15 19 12 11 142
1984 13 15 10 22 17 14 17 9 9 8 24 12 170
1983 16 13 13 22 18 24 9 14 15 18 17 7 185
1982 23 15 17 7 13 20 22 12 11 12 15 22 191
1981 27 29 22 56 40 30 44 20 24 24 26 32 374
1980 21 27 25 30 28 32 23 16 22 32 30 27 311
1979 0 22 22 27 14 20 17 20 16 18 26 33 255
1978 9 10 11 23 17 24 11 17 18 20 17 21 168
1977 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 13 19 14 18 237
1976 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 144
1975 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 160

Drilling Permits Issued for
Exploratory Wells in Nebraska
1975 – 2013

(Number of Permits)

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Total1
Exploratory
Exploratory
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Total1
2013 5 5 4 5 11 10 6 6 NA NA NA NA NA
2012 2 5 11 3 7 5 2 9 7 10 6 4 90
2011 9 6 7 3 9 6 4 4 5 3 10 18 75
2010 5 7 5 3 2 13 4 11 10 3 5 4 77
2009 2 0 0 7 0 2 5 3 5 4 2 5 35
2008 1 2 15 22 15 7 19 27 19 28 5 2 162
2007 1 6 17 4 11 3 13 11 5 9 12 2 88
2006 0 3 2 0 1 22 15 7 2 20 0 2 76
2005 1 1 5 4 4 6 3 2 6 3 3 4 43
2004 0 0 1 0 5 5 5 4 1 5 7 2 35
2003 3 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 3 1 1 18
2002 2 1 2 3 2 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 15
2001 1 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 6 1 4 0 15
2000 5 3 3 1 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 21
1999 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 2 4 6 1 1 18
1998 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 0 4 1 1 3 15
1997 6 1 5 2 3 2 0 1 2 4 5 3 34
1996 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 3 1 1 2 2 14
1995 0 1 1 2 7 0 0 5 1 4 1 2 24
1994 2 2 4 1 4 1 2 3 5 4 2 6 36
1993 3 6 5 2 1 0 12 3 7 7 5 3 54
1992 1 4 4 2 1 1 5 9 10 4 10 7 58
1991 0 1 7 8 5 4 3 5 4 6 7 6 56
1990 3 3 5 3 7 11 7 5 10 8 7 4 73
1989 4 3 4 3 5 14 3 2 4 6 6 7 61
1988 10 7 8 6 5 5 7 8 8 7 4 6 81
1987 6 7 9 6 4 14 12 13 14 13 12 13 123
1986 22 8 8 3 5 6 2 2 8 7 7 14 92
1985 9 13 14 9 15 16 22 14 18 9 19 18 176
1984 13 14 15 10 14 17 13 25 26 31 31 26 235
1983 15 13 12 20 13 9 19 16 35 19 18 26 216
1982 26 22 27 18 15 13 13 15 18 20 27 47 261
1981 27 22 16 23 15 50 27 39 23 34 41 37 354
1980 45 21 20 19 27 17 14 13 34 41 34 24 309
1979 35 0 20 25 20 18 36 20 24 38 37 30 320
1978 26 20 21 29 21 20 24 30 31 22 20 23 275
1977 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 27 32 17 40 267
1976 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 202
1975 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 212

Sources: "Nebraska Oil Activity Summary." Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Sidney, NE. Nebraska Energy Office, Lincoln, NE.

Notes: NA = Not Available. Monthly numbers are not available before September, 1977. Numbers in red have been revised.

1The annual total is compiled after corrections and updates have been made which are not reflected in the monthly reports, so the annual total will not always equal the total of the monthly numbers.

2Kinder Morgan received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for ten (10) permits which will allow drilling ten development wells into their gas storage units to improve deliverability.

The tables were updated on February 28, 2014.
Typically, there are two months between table updates.
The graph was updated on September 24, 2013.
Typically, there is one year between graph updates.