Company still plans to drill for gas on Roan Plateau |

Company still plans to drill for gas on Roan Plateau

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Denver-based Vantage Energy says falling prices and tougher rules won’t deter it from exploring for natural gas on the Roan Plateau in western Colorado.

Vantage says prices may cause minor changes in its near-term plans for the gas-rich plateau. But company spokesman Mark Rothenberg says Vantage is planning for the long term and sees great potential in the Roan.

The plateau has an estimated 9 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

“A short-term fluctuation in gas prices is not going to stop us from pursuing that project,” he told The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “It may cause some subtle changes in what we do in 2009 or 2010, but it’s not going to change our impression of the Roan Plateau as being a tremendous resource.”

Vantage paid $57.6 million for drilling rights on more than 40,000 acres of federal land on the top and sides of the plateau in an August auction by the Bureau of Land Management.

The sale was controversial because the plateau’s abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a rallying point for environmentalists.

Some companies have scaled back their drilling plans in western Colorado, citing falling prices and new state rules designed to offer more protection to the environment and public health.

Colorado regulators drew up the rules last year at the direction of the Legislature, which will have the final say on whether they are adopted.

Opponents say the rules go too far and will cost jobs. Supporters say they bring long-overdue balance to regulating Colorado’s energy industry.

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