The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) defines stripper wells as those wells producing 10 barrels of oil or less per day. Stripper oil wells produce marginal oil which is oil produced from wells that operate on the lower edge of profitability. Nebraska had 1,451 stripper oil wells in 2002 (0.4% of the nation's 402,072 stripper wells). Shown in the table below, these 1,451 stripper wells produced 1,717,983 barrels of oil or 62% of Nebraska's oil production. While each individual well in Nebraska contributed only a small amount of oil (3.24 barrels a day, on average), combined with the rest of the nation, stripper well production was more than 323 million barrels of oil (or 15% of the over two billion barrels of oil produced in the United States).
Twenty-eight states produce oil from stripper wells: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Within this group, in 2002, Nebraska was ranked 8th highest in average daily production per well, 18th highest in oil production from stripper wells, 18th highest in total oil production, and 19th highest in the number of stripper oil wells.
Plugged and Abandoned Stripper Wells
Many states have programs that allow a well to temporarily stop production. These idle wells are not included in the abandoned well column of the table below; only wells that have been permanently plugged are included. Also, orphaned wells are not included in the table's abandoned well figures. These are wells that are not producing, have not been plugged, and whose owners are either insolvent or cannot be located.