2009 Drilling Forecast Grim

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Industry representatives with many of the area's major natural gas and oil companies stood up at Thursday's Northwest Colorado Oil and Gas Forum in Rifle, Colorado with grim 2009 drilling projections.

Several of the major drilling companies reported drill counts for 2009 have been cut back by more than half. The companies also reported hundred's of millions of dollars in losses.

Chevron has cut back its number of drilling rigs by half, cut its budget by 60 percent with the company representative adding that drilling in Colorado has become, "a dynamic environment with huge amount of uncertainty." Laramie Energy and Marathon Oil announced similar numbers Thursday.

Bill Barrett Corporation annoucned its hope to drill 60 to 70 wells in 2009 but projects the company will pull in $100 million less in 2009 compared to 2008.

Prior to the meeting Thursday morning Mesa County Commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland held a press conference pleading with Governor Ritter and the Colorado legislature to take another look at the COGCC rules. Commissioner Meis says the projected drilling for 2009 has decreased even more than initially thought, down 75%. He says the numbers are downright "scary" for western Colorado.

The COGCC will be taking questions through it's website.

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