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Encana announces new big gas field

Encana announces new big gas field

Friday, July 29, 2011

Encana announces new big gas field
By Dennis E. Curran - Wyoming Business Report

CHEYENNE — Encana Resources Inc. says it is developing a new natural gas field between Casper and Lysite that has the potential to be even bigger than the famed Jonah Field in western Wyoming.

Encana spokesman Paul Ulrich announced the new development called the Moneta Divide Field during seventh annual Canada-Wyoming barbecue at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

“We anticipate this field to be as large, if not larger, than the Jonah Field was at its peak,” Ulrich told the group of Canadians and Wyomingites, noting that the Jonah Field in Sublette County is one of the 10 largest gas fields in North America.

“It has the potential to be a very, very fine asset for Encana and the state of Wyoming,” Ulrich told the Business Report.

The Moneta Divide is the site of an old, shallower oil and gas field, but Ulrich said Encana will use directional drilling and fracking to tap gas reserves that are deeper than what has been drilled in the past.

“There’s been a field out there for close to 60 years, but we’re employing new drilling techniques, new knowledge and other new engineering, and we think we have something special,” he said.

Ulrich is program manager in Wyoming for the Canadian-based Encana and is its lead on the Moneta Divide Field project.

Encana plans to ask the Bureau of Land Management to start the Environmental Impact Statement process this summer and estimates it likely will be three or four years before major production occurs

However, the company foresees some limited production from test wells to help delineate and prove out the field during the EIS process, Ulrich said. The project will generate some 600-700 jobs during development and 300-400 jobs during production, he said.

Encana already has a large presence in Wyoming and is the state’s top gas producer, according to the Wyoming Business Report’s Book of Lists. The company paid $3 million in state taxes last year, company spokesman Randy Teeuwen said.

Before Encana’s announcement, Canadian and Wyoming officials praised the important trade relationships between the United States and Canada and Wyoming and Canada.

Canadian Consul General Dale Eisler of Denver, who soon will be taking a new energy and environmental post in the Canadian government in Ottawa, called the relationship between the two countries “the biggest, most important bilateral relationship between any two nations in the world” and said if other countries had the same kind of relationships, “there would be far fewer problems in the world.”

Gov. Matt Mead congratulated Eisler for a “job well done” in fostering closer ties between Wyoming and Canada, and he noted the important role that Canadian companies like Encana and Suncor, co-sponsors of the barbecue, play in Wyoming’s economy.

“We actually don’t think of them as Canadian companies; we think of them as Wyoming companies that also do business elsewhere,” the governor said.

Eisler noted that Mead, a Republican, arrived at the barbecue with his predecessor, Democrat Dave Freudenthal, and he said that shows something about Wyoming politics that could set a good example for everyone in the United States and Canada.

Wyoming Business Report