WOGCC Tours Ultra Petroleum's Pinedale Anticline Operations

Several staff members of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission traveled to Pinedale to tour Ultra Petroleum’s operations. 

Those attending the field tour:   (Back row, L-R)  WOGCC Joe Scott and Mark Watson; Jim Ennis, Ultra Manager, Regional Production; Dan Bulfer, Ultra Director, Production and Construction,  Patrick Ash, Ultra VP, Development.  (Front row, L-R)  WOGCC Frank Ingham and Sabrina Hamner; Ultra Erika Tokarz, Senior Environmental and Regulatory Representative; Craig Blancett, Ultra Director, Land;  WOGCC Kimberly Mazza; Jasmine Allison, Ultra Senior Permitting Analyst; Kent Rogers, Ultra VP Drilling and Completions. 

As seen in the picture above, drilling rigs are situated on cement slabs that have several planned wells lined up in a row.  Once the rig is finished drilling one well it will then walk to the next well alleviating time to tear down and rig back up for each drill site. The cement slabs work great over the life of the well reducing issues that can arise in inclement weather. Rigs are electric, reducing air emissions.

Ultra’s primary focus for hosting the tour was to show various aspects of their operations that have reduced time and environmental impact.  One such program is what they refer to as SimOps.  With this approach, Ultra runs both drilling and completions operations on multiple wells simultaneously on the same pad.  This approach has cut the amount of time it takes to typically bring a well on line by over 50 percent.  Additionally, designs call for many wells on one pad.  Wells are directionally drilled instead of the vertical approach seen extensively in the Jonah field.  Though this approach entails pads that are much larger to facilitate sometimes more than 50 wells, it reduces the overall surface impact and segmentation that would occur if there was only one vertical well per pad.