State approves PDC Energy’s application for 69 oil wells in Weld County

Matt Whittaker

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A drilling rig in Weld County, Colo.WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Oil and natural gas explorer and producer PDC Energy said this week the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved its permit application for nearly 70 wells in Weld County.

The permit application encompasses 69 wells on three pads and comes as the Denver-based company bulks up its permitted inventory with an eye to drilling and well completion activity into 2024, PDC said.

The company, which late last month increased its expectations for oil and gas production this year after buying Denver-based Great Western Petroleum, said it would soon have more than 550 permits and drilled and uncompleted wells.

The company’s expansion comes when high oil prices helped boost the company’s first-quarter sales to more than $316 million from the year-ago quarter’s revenue of around $286 million.

Oil prices spiked as the Russia-Ukraine war roiled the global oil market, and the summer driving season has helped keep prices high.

Prices rose even before the war because domestic oil and gas companies weren’t drilling enough new wells to keep up with supply as the worldwide economic recovery from the pandemic generated more demand. 

Now, with higher oil prices, the pendulum is swinging the other way. As of Friday, the national rig count had increased by 272 over the past year to 733, according to the weekly Baker Hughes rig count. In Colorado, the count is up to 16 from nine a year ago, the oil field services company said.

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Matt Whittaker writes about natural resources industries, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture and cannabis. He's been based in the Denver metro area since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mattswhittaker.

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