|Rudy Vogt saw it was time for a change. It was 2005, and the shale revolution was getting under way. Massive numbers of new natural gas wells were being drilled in places like Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, which have dramatically increased domestic supplies and helped to drive consumer costs to historic lows.|
For Vogt and his partner, who own a small Kentucky-based energy company, Cumberland Valley Resources, it created a challenge. Because much of their business was comparatively low-volume natural gas production, it got harder to make money when high-producing shale plays like the Marcellus, Eagle Ford and others came online. They decided to diversify into oil.
“We started seeing the writing on the wall with gas and thought this might be a good time,” said Vogt.
Not long after, the company purchased a slew of tiny oil wells across east Kentucky, most of which produced just a few barrels a day. And just like that, Vogt and his partner had become strippers.
Strippers are the mom-and-pop operations of the oil industry. Thousands of operators run an estimated 771,000 so-called stripper wells (oil and natural gas) across the U.S., according to the National Stripper Well Association (NSWA). Full Story