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Stripper Well Facts

Percentage Depletion Economic Impact Study

In 2014, NSWA commissioned IHS to complete a study on the economic effects of eliminating percentage depletion from the tax code. As the small business owners of  America’s oil and gas industry, we use the percentage depletion allowance to keep the cash on hand we need to drill more wells and rework old ones.

Please feel free to download and use the following informational pieces:

NSWA Media Release

Slide Presentation from IHS



Thank You Study Contributors

Thank you to all our percentage depletion economic impact study contributors. We would not have been able to complete such a monumental project without you.

Percentage Depletion Calculators

If you STILL don't know exactly what percentage depletion means to you, download one of our Percentage Depletion Calculators for help at tax time. Please note NSWA assumes 15% percentage depletion on all properties.

NSWA Percentage Depletion Worksheet

Percentage Depletion vs. Cost Depletion Calculator (property by property basis)



Stripper Well     For tax purposes, a stripper well is defined as any oil or natural gas well property whose maximum daily average oil production does not exceed 15 bbls of oil, or any natural gas well whose maximum daily average gas production does not exceed 90 Mcf, per day, during any 12-month consecutive time period. Often used interchangeably with the term “marginal well” although they are not the same thing.

Marginal Well     A producing well that requires a higher price per barrel of oil or Mcf of natural gas to be worth operating because of low production rates, and/or high production costs from its location, and/or its high co-production of substances that must be separated out and disposed of (like salt water and non-combustible gases mixed with natural gas). On land, this is often, but not always, a stripper well. A marginal well becomes unprofitable to operate whenever oil and gas prices drop below its critical profit point.
Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission

Temporary Abandonment     'Cessation of work on a well pending determination of whether it should be completed as a producer or permanently abandoned.' (Williams & Meyers)

Idle Well     1) A well that is not producing or injecting, and has received state approval to remain idle; or 2), a well that is not producing or injecting, has not received state approval to remain idle, and for which the operator is known or solvent. (IOGCC)

Plugged and Abandoned     Wells that have had plugging operations during the calendar year. Does not include wells that been plugged back uphole in order to kick the well. This category does not necessarily exclude those with site restoration remaining to be completed.

Data collected by the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission