UP Energy becomes PureWest


SUBLETTE COUNTY – What’s in a name?

With its acquisition of Pinedale Energy Partners Operators’ assets, the Anticline’s largest natural gas producer is changing its name again to pursue a new image.

With the continued downturn in natural gas prices and a competitive market, Ultra is carving a new niche to distinguish itself as an environmentally friendly operator with lowered emissions and more efficient equipment.

“Along with our name change, we have changed our mission – to advance modern life by producing natural gas in a safe, environmentally-responsible, and cost-conscious manner – and these changes reflect these new commitments,” said PureWest CEO Christopher Valdez.. 

It has partnered with Project Canary to certify its wells as TrustWell “responsibly sourced gas” and will have 871 wells certified this year and the rest by the end of next year, he said.

Between Pinedale and Denver, PureWest now has about 150 employees – he declined to say how many from PEPO were retained after Ultra took over.

Already stringent

The standards set by the 2008 Pinedale Anticline’s Record of Decision that Ultra – er, PureWest – works to achieve are already demanding.

“We operate in one of the most stringent regulatory environments in the country,” Valdez said last week.  “We’ve taken the momentum of reaching the high bar set for us by (Wyoming and federal) regulatory agencies and continued to innovate and advance a number of voluntary initiatives.”

Those include quarterly camera-based leak inspections on all facilities, which he said shows “one of the lowest methane intensity rates in the country – 0.04 percent.

Installing solar heat trace pumps and removing pneumatic devices were part of Ultra’s ongoing endeavors.

“This year, we are piloting a project to bypass line heaters, which has the potential to reduce our field-wide nitrogen oxide emissions, and we will continue to look for opportunities for technological upgrades that will reduce our environmental footprint,” Valdez said.

The company is counting on the public and private sectors’ developing new RSG markets that can “transition to a lower carbon economy.”

The vision

Asked what the company’s future vision is for the Pinedale Anticline, Valdez said: “To be the most responsible and profitable Rockies-focused natural gas company. Our recent acquisitions have allowed us to apply our focus on safety and sustainability to a broader swath of the field and bring to bear the economies of scale associated with a larger operation.

“In addition to our focus on ESG and cost leadership, we are working to improve well productivity to make development on the Anticline competitive in the North American supply stack.”

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