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Stripper Oil Wells in Nebraska

2004

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 1,450 stripper oil wells in 2004 (0.4 percent of the nation's 397,362 stripper wells).  Shown in the table below, these 1,450 stripper wells produced 1,654,195 barrels of oil or 66 percent of Nebraska's oil production.  While each individual well in Nebraska contributed only a small amount of oil (3.12 barrels a day, on average), combined with the rest of the nation, stripper well production was nearly 311 million barrels of oil (or 16 percent of the nearly two billion barrels of oil produced in the United States).

Rank

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 2004, Nebraska was ranked ninth highest in average daily production per well, 18th highest in oil production from stripper wells, 20th 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.

Stripper Oil Wells in Nebraska, 1970 - 2004

(As of January 1, 2005)

Year Number of
Stripper Wells
Production
(Barrels)
Plugged and
Abandoned
Stripper Wells
Average Daily
Production per Well
(Barrels)
Percent of Total
Crude Oil
Production
1970 437 NA 47 NA NA
1971 484 NA 50 NA NA
1972 417 NA 50 NA NA
1973 526 NA 72 NA NA
1974 577 NA 74 NA NA
1975 638 NA 9 NA NA
1976 812 NA 10 NA NA
1977 919 NA 14 NA NA
1978 987 NA 59 NA NA
1979 1,037 1,865,695 17 4.93 30.74%
1980 1,223 2,236,500 18 5.00 35.84%
1981 1,414 2,510,329 11 4.86 37.63%
1982 1,585 2,878,602 15 4.97 41.89%
1983 1,672 3,417,977 18 5.60 53.52%
1984 1,707 2,974,420 36 4.76 45.97%
1985 1,716 2,947,347 36 4.71 42.45%
1986 1,637 2,617,159 45 4.38 36.87%
1987 1,589 2,687,697 39 4.63 44.13%
1988 1,505 2,446,275 30 4.44 40.92%
1989 1,247 2,110,732 43 4.64 33.87%
1990 1,269 2,011,219 60 4.34 34.15%
1991 1,190 1,871,474 43 4.31 32.09%
1992 1,209 2,023,359 55 4.59 36.96%
1993 1,274 2,214,607 65 4.76 45.49%
1994 1,185 2,147,655 50 4.97 50.92%
1995 1,114 1,899,004 36 4.67 50.06%
1996 1,004 1,948,710 112 5.30 55.00%
1997 1,699 2,366,278 66 3.82 70.91%
1998 1,646 2,113,098 90 3.52 66.54%
1999 1,498 1,828,293 66 3.34 68.70%
2000 1,483 1,831,497 67 3.37 61.97%
2001 1,475 1,765,208 83 3.28 60.42%
2002 1,451 1,717,983 100 3.24 61.82%
2003 1,423 1,651,923 80 3.18 59.96%
2004 1,450 1,654,195 54 3.12 65.98%

Sources: "Marginal Oil and Gas:  Fuel for Economic Growth."  Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, Oklahoma City, OK.  Nebraska Energy Office, Lincoln, NE.

Notes: The number of wells is estimated for 1997.  NA = no data available.

This table was updated on March 20, 2006.

Typically, there is one year between updates.