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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Ultra, Shell get clearance to put wells closer together

From The Houston Chronicle

Bloomberg News

Ultra Petroleum Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell have received approval from Wyoming to tighten well spacing in the Pinedale natural gas field to lift output, Ultra said Tuesday.

The companies will now be able to drill wells 10 acres apart. Two-thirds of the field was at 20-acre and 40-acre densities. Houston-based Ultra estimates the Pinedale field holds at least 44 trillion cubic feet of gas, Steven Kneller, the company’s vice president of domestic exploration, said in a call with analysts May 5.

Tuesday’s approval by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission makes more than 1,000 10-acre locations drillable within the 16-square-mile area, according to Kneller.

“It removes regulatory risk, which is key here,” J. David Anderson, an analyst with UBS Securities, said Monday. Wyoming holds 12 percent of proved natural gas reserves in the U.S., according to a 2004 report from the Energy Department.

Philip Dodge, an analyst for the Stanford Group, in Boca Raton, Fla., said the decision will result in a “modest addition” to Ultra’s reserves. Dodge said the company’s shares are overvalued. “A lot of the production is far out in the future,” he said. “There no question the production outlook is excellent. It’s just a question of how much investors should pay for it.” and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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