The Daily Sentinel
Analyst: Drilling doldrums to persist

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Low natural gas prices that led to drilling in Garfield County falling to the lowest level in about a decade will likely persist, an industry observer says.

In Garfield County, drilling started on roughly 500 wells last year, the lowest number since 2003.

Ryan Smith, a senior energy analyst with Bentek Energy, which keeps tabs on the oil and gas market, said drilling in northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin is highly influenced by natural gas prices.
“We don’t see a huge rebound in prices in the next few years,” he said. “So expect activity to remain lower (with) those prices.”

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reports 492 well starts in the county last year as of Dec. 20. Year-end well-start figures from the commission weren’t available, but Bentek Energy counts 528 starts in the county for the year as a whole. According to state data, the last time the county’s well starts were lower was 2003, with 417 wells.

To read the full article, please click here.