Antero ironing out problems with new drilling rig
Antero Resources new lower profile, smaller footprint Italian drilling rig is not performing up to snuff. Multiple breakdowns, and the lack of local spare parts, has slowed down progress, said Anteros vice president for production Terry Dobkin. The first two wells have taken twice as long as they should have. Dobkin said the wells were expected to take 15 days to drill and have actually taken 30 days each. Antero is drilling south of Highway 6&24 about halfway between Silt and Rifle. Weve been disappointed with the rig, he said. Parts must be flown in from Italy, delaying drilling even further. Now the company is saying to itself, Do we want a Ferrari or a Chevy? Right now wed prefer a Chevy. With a traditional drilling rig, we just have to go to Grand Junction or Vernal for spare parts, he added. The rigs do have advantages over traditional drilling rigs. They are smaller overall and operate in a closed system that all but eliminates open air fluid pits. They also can be easily skidded to new well locations rather than being hauled by truck. Other companies are getting on the band wagon. Williams, which operates in the Parachute area, will bring in a similar rig at the end of November, said Williams manager Steve Soychak. They have a smaller footprint (than traditional wells) and up to 22 wells can be drilled from one smaller pad, he said. Well be picking one up each month for the next eight to 10 months.However, the trouble with the Italian rig wont put a permanent crimp in Anteros drilling program. Were certain we can get it ironed out, Dobkin said. Were getting spare parts in and we have a better idea of what we need. Its just been slower and frustrating. Antero also pushed to have the rig on the ground earlier than originally planned, he said, and that may account for some of the problems. It got here early and we didnt have the spare parts to go with it, he said. Its just a case of breaking in a different kind of rig that doesnt use local parts. Its growing pains.
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Colorado State Patrol will send extra troopers to Independence Pass but tools such as one-way, directional travel through the Narrows are not being considered.