Colorado issues largest number of drilling permits since 1980

Nov 11, 2004 01:00 AM

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued drilling permit No. 2,379 for 2004, breaking the record set in 1980 during the state's last boom.
The permit was granted to Laramie Energy for a natural gas well in western Colorado's Piceance Basin, one of the Bush administration's top areas for domestic energy development.

New records are also likely this year in the amount and value of produced oil and gas, said Brian Macke, the commission director. The value of Colorado energy production this year is expected to hit $ 6.6 bn, well above last year's $ 5 bn.
Macke said Colorado and the rest of the Rockies will continue to have strong drilling activity because production in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas has begun to decline. Demand for natural gas also has increased, largely because most new power plants in the US are fuelled by gas.
"We believe the dynamics are in place to have sustained high natural-gas prices for quite some time," Macke said.

Weld County's Wattenberg oil and gas field has proved attractive to Oklahoma City-based Kerr-McGee, which recently bought Westport Resources of Denver for $ 3.4 bn.
"We have a large inventory of economically attractive projects at Wattenberg field," said Dave Hager, a Kerr-McGee senior vice president. "We expect to be active at Wattenberg for many years to come."

Source: Dow Jones
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