Williams gets OK for 500 more gas wells | PostIndependent.com

Williams gets OK for 500 more gas wells

Williams Production received formal approval Monday from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to significantly increase its natural gas production in Garfield County.

According to Williams’ Parachute district manager, Steve Soychak, the approval clears the way for the company to drill up to 500 wells on 16,000 acres of land using existing and pre-approved well sites. This can be done by using directional drilling to drill multiple wells from one well pad.

“It could mean up to 500 wells over a period of five to 12 years,” Soychak said. “Depending on the assumption of prices, that could mean over $100 million in ad valorem, or property taxes, to the county.”

He also said the additional wells could create 200 new jobs in the oil patch.

A news release sent by Williams said that by using one well pad for multiple downhole well sites, through directional drilling, the company can use existing roads, consolidate equipment in central locations and use its existing pipeline infrastructure.

Soychak said opposition to Williams’ application was almost nil.

“I think the reason we didn’t get any opposition is because of the directional drilling,” he said. “We’re going to be pretty much minimizing the impact.”

The new wells will be drilled in three of Williams’ major producing fields – Rulison, Parachute and Grand Valley. All are located north of the Colorado River and Interstate 70, the news release said.

Drilling on the new wells is slated to start in 2004, following environmental assessments that are part of the permitting process, the news release said.

“For the community, the increased production that results from this approval provides the opportunity for additional jobs and millions of dollars in federal royalties and tax revenues to Garfield County over the next 20 years,” Soychak said.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511


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