Amid Boom, Regulators Struggle with Staffing

May 23, 2014

The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else… the petroleum engineers who REGULATE drilling activities. They approve  drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out… but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports for Inside Energy, these days there just aren’t enough regulators to go around.   Wyoming’s Oil and Gas Commission has a serious staffing problem.  The Commission is down to just two petroleum engineers -- Mark Watson, the Oil and Gas Supervisor, and one with less than a year of experience. Watson is in the process of trying to hire three more. "And I just interviewed a girl who just graduated from the University of Wyoming, and she was offered a job with a major company for $105,000. And I thought, ‘ooof.’ You’re making $25,000 more than me and I have 30 years experience.”   Listen to the full report above. Read more about the Inside Energy team here.