Twenty-seven  contract employees at the Rocky Mountain Oil Field Testing center found themselves out of work last Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the layoffs as part of  restructuring at RMOTC.

The Rocky Mountain Oil Field Testing Center is located 30 miles north of Casper at the site of Navel Petroleum Reserve #3 or Teapot Dome. Those laid off were with Navarro Energy, an Oil Production Contractor for the Department of Energy who before the layoffs employed 81.

John Grasser of DOE's office of Fossil Energy, told the Wyoming Business Report that the Navel Petroleum Reserve is ending its productive life and in future will focus on environmental remediation.

Grasser says the DOE changed its policy recently for private companies wishing to use RMOTC to test new Technology.  Now the "tester" must pay 100 percent of project costs.

Sources at RMOTC who remain anonymous because they've been told not to talk to media say that several multi-million dollar testing projects are "in the works" but they don't know how the changes will affect starting them.

One current testing project is a low temperature geothermal effort, another is the wind energy trial being done in partnership with Casper College.