Galaxy Energy to drill 10 wells north of Rifle |

Galaxy Energy to drill 10 wells north of Rifle

Galaxy Energy of Denver, a longtime producer of coal-bed methane in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, is about to make an entrance on the natural gas stage in the Piceance Basin.

Galaxy announced Thursday it has acquired more than 5,000 acres of the Biscuit Ranch about two miles northeast of Rifle, at a cost of $14.5 million.

Galaxy’s plan is to drill a minimum of 10 wells by the summer of 2006, said Cecil Gritez, chief operating officer of Galaxy.

“It could be more than that,” Gritez said.

Drilling is set to begin in November.

Although Galaxy’s focus in Wyoming has been coal-bed methane, it will be drilling in a tight sand formation in Garfield County, similar to the large fields operated by Williams and EnCana, Gritez said.

“We’ve looked at lots of well logs in the area and their certainly are some substantial coal intervals there,” but for the near future the company will concentrate on the more traditional resources, he said.

The company’s holdings are also closer to the Grand Hogback than the larger fields, where gas lenses are known to pinch out.

“Obviously all of us here … have those concerns … and until you get those bores drilled you’re in the projection business,” Gritez said.

He added that Galaxy also co-owns some natural gas leases in the area of the Biscuit Ranch with Antero Resources.

With Garfield County scoring the highest number of well permits in the state this year, there is a continuing difficulty in finding drilling companies to do the work.

“We do have a drilling contract with one of the largest contractors in the Rocky Mountains,” Gritez said.

Galaxy also has operations in Montana, Germany and Romania.

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