Operator forecasts vary from ‘none’ to steady

Operators’ representatives

from Ultra Resources, Pinedale Energy Partners

and Jonah Energy presented their past

year’s development and status reports on

April 25 – and the key point for many, their

forecasts for this year and beyond.

Each in turn reported on water usage, air

quality, reclamation, ozone and their projected

development. Bureau of Land Management

hosted the meeting with employees,

operators’ staff and the public, with Darla

Potter of the Wyoming Department of Environmental

Quality on the phone.

A look back

First, Pinedale Field Office Manager Caleb

Hiner spoke about working on the Pinedale

Anticline Project Area’s record of decision


“Hearing about development on the Pinedale

Anticline is something I look forward

to seeing how it progresses every year,” he

said. “It’s interesting to see how things have

been implemented 10 years, 11 years later.”

One change is that the annual meetings are

now “as short as possible,” he added. “My

intent was to eventually have them in the

evenings; I would be glad to see more people

here … but if we are being too efficient, let

us know.”

Ultra report

First up was Erika Tokarz, Ultra’s regulatory

supervisor in Denver. In 2018, Ultra

drilled 111 wells with an average of 4.2 rigs.

In 2018, Ultra also built one pad, partially

built two, expanded one and put six into interim

reclamation. All of those and work

planned for 2019 are for south of the New

Fork River, she said, with no development on

the Mesa.

Ultra plans to drill 101 wells and 12 pads

this year with an average of three rigs, she


Three rigs, one each, are currently located

in Development Area 3, DA 4 and DA 5.

For this year, Ultra will have three rigs and

four pads in DA 5, three rigs and four pads in

DA 4 and one rig and four pads in DA 3. In

2020, Ultra plans to maintain three rigs.

“We would love to ramp up but we’ll see

how the economy measures up on that,” Tokarz


At the end of 2018, Ultra had 2,220 producing

wells in the Anticline with more than

400 local employees its rig efficiency came to

about 26 wells per rig per year.

Horizontal drilling has reduced rigs’ drilling

efficiency, she said.


Pinedale Energy Partners Operating LLC,

which acquired QEP Resources’ Sublette

County holdings in 2017, was represented by

Charles Prior.

Last year, PEPO drilled 31 wells with one

drill rig, completing 30 and bringing them online

for a total of 1,178 producing wells and

82 well pads. One new well pad was built in

Development Area 1.

This year, PEPO will focus development

with five new pads as well as drilling 29 wells

with one rig, 28 completions, production facilities’

installation and well hookups in DA


The operator might drill a horizontal well

from an existing well pad and expand another

well pad this year and next.

PEPO’s 10-year drilling forecast projects

about 100 wells over the coming decade and

approximately one new well pad a year.

Jonah Energy

Jonah Energy’s smaller holdings in the

Pinedale Anticline came with its acquisition

of Linn Energy. The operator’s expectations

were downgraded from their 2018 projections

of drilling two vertical wells from one well

pad and drill 240 wells through 2026.

“Our Anticline presentation is going to be

very, very, very brief,” said director Paul Ulrich.

“The future will be fairly status quo. We

had no activities in 2018, nothing in 2019 and

2020 is going to be minimal.”

From 2020 through 2028, Jonah might

build four new well pads, “potentially. In the

future, there will be new wells on existing

pads when possible.”


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