Wellington OKs oil well
On the outskirts of Wellington, deep beneath the rangeland where deer and antelope play, there's oil. And that oil will soon be flowing to the surface.
The city council last Wednesday granted the conditional use permit necessary for Whiting Petroleum Corp. to begin production on the first of what might become several wells in the area.
The well is near the intersection of Ridge and Lower Miller Creek roads within city limits.
The Denver-based company has been exploring for months now with the city's permission and is ready to begin production.
Scott Swain, Whiting's area foreman, said the well is ready to go. It has been shut in awaiting the city's approval.
Swain said the company will surround the production well with a gated, six-foot-high chain link fence for security. Fire departments will have keys to access the property in case of emergency.
Another measure the city requested was that the company capture the natural gas byproduct rather than burning it. Mayor Ben Blackburn said residents have said they don't like the idea of flaring.
The company intends to save the natural gas component of its production, Swain said.
Castle Country is not generally known for its petroleum production. Its energy resources are overwhelmingly coal and methane. However, there are some producing wells in the Mounds area near Wellington in Emery County.
Swain said that oil production will lead to some jobs in the area. However, he added, the exact number of employees will depend on how many wells are eventually developed.