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COVID-19 State and Local Jurisdictional Update

State UpdateAs states and local jurisdictions enact partial or full shutdowns of business, it is critical for PESA to ensure that all elements of our sector and the critical supply chain remain open and permitted to operate throughout the crisis. Below, please find a detailed list of the current orders in the states and jurisdictions where many of our members operate.

TEXAS
The Texas rig count continued to decline this week. According to Deloitte, the coronavirus will increase pressure on shale companies throughout 2020, which could prompt the deepest consolidation the industry has ever seen.

On June 23, Texas reported an all-time high in the number of people testing positive for the virus, with 5,489 new cases. Gov. Greg Abbott disclosed that hospitalizations are also at an all-time high, and urged people to wear masks while out in public and stay home when possible. He also ordered new rules for Texas daycares, child-care centers and after-school programs.

Abbott did not issue a state stay-at-home order as of June 24, but hinted at possible new announcements soon.

A Harris County mask order went into effect on June 22, requiring masks to be worn in businesses by both employees and customers older than 10.

The Texas positivity rate has had a three-fold increase, from 3% of those tested to around 9%. Additionally, new cases have hit Houston so hard that the Texas Children’s Hospital has been admitting new adult patients this week.

Texas has had more than 115,000 cases of the virus, with 60,190 patients recovered.

HOUSTON

MIDLAND

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

ODESSA

Texas Business Resources During COVID-19

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed essential by Texas Executive Order GA-14.

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma coronavirus cases have now topped 11,000, with June 21 breaking the single-day record for reported cases. The number makes the second consecutive week the state has surpassed its previous high.

The pandemic is hitting the cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City the hardest, according to state data. Younger residents are now the leading age group among cases, with 32% aged 18-35 and 22% aged 36-49. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has stated if hospitalizations continue to rise, the city will have no choice but to roll back to earlier phases of reopening.

Oklahoma has had more than 2,000 cases, with 1,502 people recovered from the virus.

OKLAHOMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

OKLAHOMA CITY COVID-19 RESOURCES

CITY OF TULSA COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE COVID-19 RESOURCES

OKLAHOMA WORKS COVID-19 RESOURCES

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed critical.

NEW MEXICO
Ninety-four parcels of federal public landed in New Mexico and West Texas that were scheduled to be a part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) May oil and gas lease sale will now be offered as part of the BLM’s August lease sale, in addition to 19 more parcels in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The previous lease sale had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Mexico’s Oil Conservation Division (OCD) has announced the successful results of a pilot program aimed at reducing flaring in existing operations. Gas was looped back into active wells during an outage instead of flaring it, and reintroduced the gas back into the system when pipeline operations were restored. With fracking levels reaching record new lows in 2020, the report expected a “substantial drop” in wellhead flaring.

As the state has slowly opened up with limited capacities, social distancing and mask wearing, health officials are playing close attention to cases rising in neighboring states. The state-wide public health order will expire on June 30. New Mexico cities have either canceled or are currently planning for socially-distanced Fourth of July celebrations.

New Mexico has had almost 11,000 coronavirus patients, with more than 4,700 recovered.

LEA COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

LEA COUNTY COVID-19 RESOURCES

NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT COVID-19 RESOURCES

CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE COVID-19 BUSINESS GUIDE

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed essential.

LOUISIANA
Bankruptcies continue for oil and gas service businesses in Louisiana, and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association has said about half of its 460 member companies have told the association that bankruptcy was on the table for 2020. Thousands of industry workers have filed for unemployment benefits.

Louisiana is temporarily easing rules on oil leases and offering companies a break on payments, production requirements and certain penalties until mid-July. The state Mineral and Energy Board approved two resolutions that put a hold on oil lease obligations on state-owned lands, including requirements that companies produce oil or be forced to pay fines or give up their leases. The state typically requires lease holders to maintain production so the state can collect royalties on oil and gas sales.

Coronavirus testing kits in Louisiana are in short supply, perhaps stressed by all-time high daily cases in several states. The highest one-day surge in cases since April was reported on June 23.

The Louisiana positivity rate has ticked up, from under 5% in mid-May, to almost 7% the week of June 15, and the number of new cases has increased each day for the past five days beginning on June 19.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced that the state will not enter the less restrictive Phase 3 of opening the economy. Phase 2 restrictions were set to expire June 26, but will now remain in place for another 28 days.

Louisiana has confirmed more than 50,000 coronavirus cases, with almost 40,000 patients recovered.

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

NEW ORLEANS OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

LOUISIANA SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

COLORADO
On June 22, Gov. Jared Polis named a new five-member commission to take over crafting legislation that would place major changes to Colorado oil and gas. The new board at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which is permanent, will take the place of the previous nine-member board who have been overseeing the implementation of Senate Bill 181, a large reform of the state’s mineral extraction laws.

Earlier this month, the commission approved rules dealing with the well bore. The change is meant to ensure that groundwater, no matter how far down it is located, will be protected from oil, gas and fracking fluids.

Gov. Jared Polis extended the state’s safer-at-home order to July 1, but also said restaurants can reopen to in-person dining with strict social distancing regulations. Coronavirus hospitalizations have continued to slowly decline within the state. The death rate has fallen from about 15% in March and April to about 10.5% in May.

Colorado has had more than 30,700 virus patients in the state.

COLORADO DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

WELD COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

DENVER OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

COLORADO COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed critical.

PENNSYLVANIA
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection is holding virtual public hearings around a draft rule for controlling emissions from oil and natural gas facilities. The current rule only applies to new or modified facilities, while the proposed rule would control emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds from existing oil and gas infrastructure. Written comments for the proposed rule will be accepted through July 27.

New coronavirus cases have hit a five-day streak on June 24, which has not been seen in the state since its peak in April. According to doctors within the UPMC health system, new patients being seen are less sick than those who were seen at the beginning of the pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf has urged residents to continue using masks as counties move into the next stage of reopening.

Pennsylvania has had more than 82,000 confirmed cases of the virus, with more than 62,000 patients recovered.

PENNSYLVANIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

PITTSBURGH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

PENNSYLVANIA COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed critical.

OHIO
The coronavirus epidemic has sparked a lawsuit for the Ohio Department of Health by more than 40 day care centers across Ohio. The suit calls for an end to “unlawful pandemic regulations.” Meanwhile, the department on June 23 said it has seen spikes in cases over the last few days. Nationally, cases are at the highest level since the pandemic began in March.

Ohio has had more than 45,500 confirmed cases of the virus.

OHIO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

PORTAGE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed critical.

WYOMING
On May 22, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris canceled energy leases on more than 470 miles of public land in Wyoming and Montana, saying the Department of the Interior has not done a good enough job protecting the habitat for the greater sage grouse.

Wyoming has had more than 1,200 confirmed cases of the virus, with more than 900 patients recovered.

WYOMING OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY

WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

WYOMING BUSINESS COUNCIL

CITY OF CHEYENNE COVID-19 UPDATES

CASPER/NATRONA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Use this link to determine if your business has been deemed critical.

UTAH
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is opening over 100,000 acres of public land for oil and gas drilling near some of Utah’s most well-known national parks. While nothing has been approved for drilling, and none of the parcels have been approved, the BLM notes that bidding for leases could begin as early as September.

If you have questions or need help working with any state or local authorities, please contact Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley.