EnCana evaluates drilling in Pitco | AspenTimes.com

EnCana evaluates drilling in Pitco

A company that operates about 900 natural gas wells in Garfield County is evaluating if it will poke an exploratory well into extreme western Pitkin County in 2005.

EnCana Oil and Gas USA has approval from the U.S. Forest Service to drill the well in the old Wolf Creek gas field, an area that is about 12 miles southwest of Carbondale and accessed via a road that goes past Sunlight Mountain Resort.

Aspen District Ranger Bill Westbrook said he gave EnCana a one-year permit to drill in October. If the gas company drills and finds prospects promising, it must apply for another permit to produce gas, Westbrook said.

An EnCana spokeswoman said the company hasn’t determined yet if it will exercise that permit. “We are evaluating whether or not to drill an exploratory well,” said Florence Murphy, vice president of public and community relations for EnCana.

She said she couldn’t discuss what factors are involved in that evaluation. “We, as a rule, don’t talk about drilling evaluations for competitive reasons,” Murphy said.

The company is currently employing 10 drilling rigs in the massive Mamm Creek Field south of Silt and Rifle. That field is part of the gas-rich Piceance Basin, which covers much of western Colorado. Geologists consider the Thompson Creek area outside of Carbondale to be the eastern edge of that basin.

For more on the potential to drill in Pitkin County, see Thursday’s Aspen Times.

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