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One oil and gas company wants out of Colorado, while another CEO doubles down

Citing public opposition, regulatory concerns
Posted at 2:12 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 21:53:52-04

DENVER -- While oil production is up in Colorado and many producers are betting big on Denver's oil and shale rich Julesburg Basin, one CEO says he wants out of the state.

Brad Holly, CEO & President of Whiting Petroleum made the announcement at a major oil and gas conference in Denver last week.

"Brad Holly, of Whiting Petroleum's President and CEO, kicked off the conference earlier telling the crowd his company is looking at exiting the D-J Basin and focusing on the Bakken (North Dakota)," said Jessica Morales in a video about the DUG Rockies conference presented by Hart Energy. "He outlined reasons why Bakken is attractive including wells generating strong free cash flow, availability of services, and a favorable regulatory environment."  

Whiting's first quarter 2018 earnings update confirms the company plans to wind down its Redtail holdings site in Weld County during the first half of this year and ramp up completion activity on the Bakken in North Dakota. The CEO's comments came a day after a Colorado District Court judge dismissed a case by Thornton to impose stricter local setback rules for new oil and gas development near homes and buildings.

Meanwhile, Denver-based HighPoint Resources said it is doubling down on the D-J Basin in Colorado, but the Denver Post reports, CEO and president Scot Woodall told the crowd at the Colorado Convention Center it is taking a rural strategy where they can drill in peace.

"The D-J is always in that top five when you look about break even economics," Woodall said in an interview with Hart Energy.

“Whiting is a top acreage holder and producer in the Bakken where we are generating very strong growth and free cashflow. We are exploring the divestiture of our Colorado assets so we can become even more focused in the Bakken," a company spokeswoman said in a statement to Denver7.