Frustrated by the fact that a contractor has not been hired yet to tabulate monthly oil production statistics from operators, it could be as long as another two to four months before the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation can provide that information.

“We are suffering,” said Jim Halvorson, administrator to the commission. The latest official number for state oil production is 44,687 BOPD reported in July,2019. So from August to the present day, production numbers are unknown.

About 75% of the companies file that information electronically, however, most smaller operators send in written reports.

Halvorson is not sure when a contractor will be hired but when a company is brought on, he estimates it will take at least another two months to catch up.

The company that had been doing the work for the last ten years went out of business in October.

Office staff has gone through over 7,500 pieces of paper to compile past data, Halvorson said. “We went through every report by hand,” he said.

When the commission meets Feb.12 and 13 in Billings, the hiring of a new contractor will still not be known, Halvorson said.

With a limited agenda, the commission will consider several penalty cases—most stemming from abandoned wells that have not been plugged.

White Rock Oil and Gas, LLC of Plano, TX will ask the board for approval to convert a Richland County well, Faira 2-35X in Sec. 35, T25N-R54E, to a produced gas injection well to a depth of 11,700 feet.

Lonewolf Operating, LLC of Billings will ask the board to approve temporary spacing for drilling two Sawtooth test wells in Blaine County.