Pinedale Anticline oil and gas field

PureWest Energy, formerly Ultra Resources, plans to resume drilling operations in the Pinedale Anticline in the next couple of weeks as demand for natural gas rises.

PINEDALE — With immediate demand high for domestic energy, PureWest Energy plans to resume its drilling operations in the Pinedale Anticline in the next couple of weeks, using local contractors wherever possible.

PureWest is the rebranded name for Ultra Resources, which bought out and accumulated the vast majority of Anticline oil and gas holdings.

On Wednesday, PureWest CEO Chris Valdez announced the private company’s return-to-drilling plans to bring 14 new natural gas wells online “and prioritize local contractor support for the drilling project.”

“In response to the rising demand for U.S.-produced energy and the upcoming winter season, PureWest plans to drill for a 6-month minimum term, with deployments beginning mid-December 2021,” he said in a release.

So far PureWest has contracted one rig — a low-emission natural-gas-powered rig from Calgary-based Ensign.

“The PureWest team looks forward to working with local partners to meet growing domestic and global demand for responsible and reliable natural gas,” Valdez said.

PureWest Senior Vice President Kelly Bott affirmed the operator’s commitment.

“We are getting contracts for service companies in place and have reached out to several local companies,” she said Thursday. “We plan to use as many local people as possible for this work and are working hard to navigate supply chain and labor pool issues. We will be monitoring market conditions and well performance as we look to make decisions about future drilling plans.”

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