official nebraska government website

Stripper Oil Wells in Nebraska

2007

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 1,473 stripper oil wells in 2007 (0.4 percent of the nation's 396,537 stripper wells).  Shown in the table below, these 1,473 stripper wells produced 1,634,975 barrels of oil or 70 percent of Nebraska's oil production.  Using 2007's average wellhead oil price in Nebraska of $62.78 per barrel, without the stripper oil wells' production, an additional $103 million would have been spent on crude oil imports.  While each individual well in Nebraska contributed only a small amount of oil (3.04 barrels a day, on average), combined with the rest of the nation, stripper well production was more than 291 million barrels of oil (or 28.4 percent of the total one billion barrels of oil produced in the United States) saving $19.4 billion on additional imports to the nation.  (The nation's average wellhead oil price in 2007 was $66.52 per barrel.)

Rank

Thirty states produce oil from stripper wells:  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  Within this group, in 2007, Nebraska was ranked tenth highest in average daily production per well, 18th highest in oil production from stripper wells, 19th 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 - 2007

(As of January 1, 2008)

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%
2005 1,478 1,598,224 19 2.96 66.22%
2006 1,487 1,579,404 15 2.91 68.29%
2007 1,473 1,634,975 20 3.04 70.01%

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 July 28, 2009.

Typically, there is one year between updates.