WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has introduced with U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-OK, the “Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act.”

According to a statement released Thursday from Washington, D.C., “The bi-partisan and bicameral bill ensures that the nation's policies recognize and reflect the economic importance of marginal well production.” The average marginal well produces less than 2.2 barrels of oil per day.

“As Americans continue to suffer from high energy prices, we need to take advantage of domestic resources of oil and natural gas,” Inhofe said. “I am proud to work closely with Congressman Boren in introducing the bi-partisan Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act, which will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by streamlining and clarifying government regulations, prolonging economic feasibility and enhancing production volumes from marginal wells. In addition to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, a producing well provides both state and federal taxes, pays royalties to land and mineral owners and keeps jobs and dollars on American soil and in American pockets. A plugged well provides none of this.”

Inhofe said marginal wells produced more than 335 million barrels of oil in 2006 - a figure he said represents more than 60 percent of what the United States imports annually from Saudi Arabia or 67 percent of what is imported annually from Venezuela.

“Every day, hard-working Oklahomans are facing rising costs of energy and our country continues to be dependent on foreign nations for its energy needs,” Boren said. Congress must ensure that we are taking full advantage of every option available to increase our domestic energy supply. That is why I'm proud to join Sen. Jim Inhofe, in introducing this act."

“This legislation would help reduce our foreign dependence by prolonging and enhancing production from marginal wells. Even though marginal wells produce 15 barrels or less daily, according to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, they contribute nearly 18 percent of the oil and 9 percent of the natural gas produced in the U.S.,” Boren said. “Most importantly, the producers who operate marginal wells are smaller, independent operations that assist local and state economies with job creation and added revenue streams. This bill ensures that the nation's policies recognize the economic importance and energy contribution of marginal well production.”