The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said this week it will no longer orally approve oil and gas drilling permits.
Permit applications will no longer be expedited but will all require 30 to 60 days for review, according to Mark Watson, interim state oil and gas supervisor.
Watson said the commission typically approved no more than two or three permits orally a week, the Casper Star Tribune reported.
“An increase in the number of applications received, coupled with more regulations, was the primary reason for the change,” the report said.
Under the prior system, energy companies could call the Wyoming oil and gas commission and ask for an oral approval.
The state’s new baseline water testing rule and sage grouse stipulations are a factor in eliminating oral approvals by telephone.
“I think the big issue is there are just more steps involved to get a permit approved,” Watson told the Star Tribune.
The oil and gas commission received 406 applications in April.
That’s the most since October, when 478 applications were submitted, the Star Tribune said.
“It is also almost double the amount turned in each of the preceding five months.”