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 1,487 stripper oil wells in 2006 (0.4 percent of the nation's 422,255 stripper wells). Shown in the table below, these 1,487 stripper wells produced 1,579,404 barrels of oil or 68 percent of Nebraska's oil production. Using 2006's average wellhead oil price in Nebraska of $57.77 per barrel, without the stripper oil wells' production, an additional $91 million would have been spent on crude oil imports. While each individual well in Nebraska contributed only a small amount of oil (2.91 barrels a day, on average), combined with the rest of the nation, stripper well production was more than 335 million barrels of oil (or 17.8 percent of the total 1.9 billion barrels of oil produced in the United States) saving $20 billion on additional imports to the nation. (The nation's average wellhead oil price in 2006 was $59.69 per barrel.)
Twenty-nine states produce oil from stripper wells: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, 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 2006, Nebraska was ranked tenth highest in average daily production per well, 19th highest in oil production from stripper wells, 21st highest in total oil production, and 20th 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.