Major energy company removing rigs

PICEANCE BASIN, Colo. Drilling rigs are a common sight in the Piceance Basin, but one major energy company is on its way out.

They say it probably isn't a permanent move, but officials say all Encana rigs will be taken out of the Piceance Basin at least for 2014.

The area is rich with natural gas, but Encana officials say they're temporarily shifting their focus to oil production.

160 Encana employees work in Piceance but even with the move, only a few jobs were actually lost.

"We still have an office and we're still employing people," says Encana community relations advisor, Sandy Kent. "We've had a handful of layoffs but those are done, any of our drilling guys who won't be working in the Piceance next year will be working in other areas."

Those who've re-located will be working in other areas like new mexico and the front range.

But Encana officials say they likely won't be gone for long and will re-evaluate their options for 2015.

Encana mainly drills into the Williams Fork Shale reserve within the Piceance Basin.

Officials say they don't believe pulling their drilling rigs out will make a big impact on already rising natural gas prices.

Encana also operates about 3,000 natural gas wells in the basin.

None of those wells will be shut down and each will continue producing throughout 2014.

However, no more drilling for new wells will be done.


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