Delta Petroleum reports loss, cuts employees

Delta Petroleum Corp., which has significant Piceance Basin holdings, laid off several employees this week.

The cutbacks were a sharp reversal from the ambitious plans the company had less than a year ago for the Piceance Basin.

During the first three quarters of 2008, Delta embarked on “a concerted effort to prepare for accelerated drilling activity” that could accommodate an eight-rig drilling program, Delta said in a corporate filing. The plans included drilling 200 new wells per year in the Vega Reservoir area near Collbran beginning this year.

“As of mid-February, (Delta) does not have any drilling rigs active in the field,” the company said.

Delta Petroleum reported a loss of $452 million for 2008.

Delta employee Dave Cesark was among the employees who were laid off.

“It’s never fun,” Cesark said of energy downturns.

He also was a victim of the energy bust of the 1980s, when he was working as a petroleum geologist in his first job out of college, Cesark said.

This time is different because the entire economy is in a downturn, he said.

Cesark has worked with several energy companies and has been active in energy issues with Club 20, the Western Slope lobbying and promotional organization.

He said he hopes to stay in western Colorado and is exploring different options, including becoming a partner in a company or doing consulting.

“I’m looking at any and all options at this point,” he said.

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