EVANSTON — Hilcorp Energy, the company that purchased all of Chevron’s Wyoming assets a year ago, has now purchased nearly 1,500 wells in southwest Wyoming. Many of the wells are located in the Moxa Arch, which runs through eastern Uinta County and part of Sweetwater County then up through Lincoln County and into Sublette.
“Obviously we’re going to develop up there,” Hilcorp Corporate Manager of External Affairs Silver Vasquez told the Herald last week. “The Anadarko deal is kind of winding down … in terms of the original acquisition; we’re very excited about it.”
Whether “develop” means drilling new wells or ramping up production on current wells is unclear.
According to county records, 1,379 of the 1,491 wells recently acquired — along with a similar number of oil and gas leases — were purchased from Anadarko on Dec. 4. In the past several weeks, Hilcorp acquired another 112 wells and leases from QEP Energy.
But what could that mean for Uinta County, which has been hamstrung — just like other Wyoming counties and the state itself — by the oil and gas industry’s boom/bust cycle?
“I can only assume they may be considering more drilling or fracking with existing wells,” Uinta County Economic Development Director Gary Welling said. “The county economic development commission will be very supportive of growth in Hilcorp and will offer any help that our economic group can.”
Chevron regional operations manager Dave Matthews said it’s possible that Hilcorp’s increased activity could help the local economy.
“It’s really hard to say,” Matthews said, “but initially, at first blush, you’ve got to believe that it will be a stimulation to the economy. We’ll see some increased activity … as a result of that, hopefully increased production.”
Vasquez said the energy company is looking forward to having a larger presence in southwest Wyoming.