After more than two years in preparation, an operator of oil and gas wells announced in May that a work over of a gas well in Gordon Creek has resulted in a tenfold increase in production.
In March 2006, officials with Fellows Energy announced that the company had partnered with MBA Resources Corp. of Canada to purchase wells in the Gordon Creek area about 13 miles west of Price.
The option to purchase these wells dates back to an offer in January 2004, when the company acquired the purchasing option for 5,242 acres.
The project targets gas located in the Ferron Sandstone and the Emery coal bed.
According to state records, the wells produced 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas in a year. Estimates for the gas field reserves extend as high as 20 billion cubic feet.
Early indications in the Emery coal bed indicate that it may be as productive as the Drunkards Wash Field, located some six miles south of the Fellows acquisition.
Drunkards Wash reports an average of four billion cubic feet of gas production per month, and has topped the list of gas production sites in the state.
Local officials and others with economic interests in the county have expressed concern, however, because the production levels at Drunkards Wash are likely to drop as the field reaches its peak production levels.
Once the levels at Drunkards Wash decline, finding a site with similar output has shown to be a high priority.
At present, there appear to be at least two such sites. One is the Gordon Creek area, the other is near Nine Mile Canyon, where the Bill Barrett Corporation discovered reserves estimated between 500 billion and a trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The Gordon Creek wells, unlike the fields near Nine Mile Canyon, already have a history of production. Many wells already dot the area and increasing the number of wells in the western part of the county is likely to be easier than near Nine Mile.
For starters, gas roads already reach many points of drunkards wash and Questar Gas has existing pipelines that can be used for gas collection across the fields in Gordon Creek. Nine Mile Canyon, however, is more primitive in nture, lacking roads and pipelines.
Due to its pristine nature, various groups and individuals have expressed concerns relating to gas exploration and production in and around Nine Mile Canyon. Those concerns range from environmental protections, to wildlife concerns and protection of archaeological history in the area.
With those barriers in place, activities in the Nine Mile region have moved forward, but under scrutiny from special interest groups and national and state media.
However, work in Gordon Creek has moved forward with little opposition and has stayed almost unknown to media outlets.
In addition, the possible increases in production levels across the county have created optimism by the various gas producers with interests near the Gordon Creek site. The result is that multiple companies are looking at options that could increase production in the region. While some companies are planning to increase the total number of wells, Fellows announced that it will augment that approach with the workover of the existing wells.
After the purchase of the gas field the company, the company created a budget of $215,000 for the reworking of the first two wells in the field. In addition to operating wells, the gas field also includes a series of shut-in, non-producing wells. By breathing new life into the existing wells, Fellows and MBA plan to increase production at the site. The first two wells for reworking included one of each type of well.
In preparation to binging in a drilling rig to perform a workover on the well, water disposal, pumping and operating parameters were reconfigured. After completing the well workover, Fellows and MBA announced that it had seen an initial increase of up to 10 times the previous production levels. After monitoring the well site for the first few weeks, production looks to have dropped, though the levels are still three to five times the previous levels.
"Work is progressing smoothly and substantially as planned, and we are pleased with the increase in production potential that we have established," said George Young, president of Fellows.
After reconfiguring a third well, production levels increased at the site by more than 50 percent.
In 2005, Sproule & Associates of Denver, Colo., released the results of an evaluation into the field purchased by Fellows. As part of the evaluation, it was determined that the up to 20 additional wells could by placed on the site.