Gas group picks Fees as Pioneer of Piceance

An oil and gas man who moved to Grand Junction in 1959 to found his own company, Walter Fees Jr. was recognized Friday night as a Pioneer of the Piceance by the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

The award was accepted by his son, Walter Fees III.

Fees began working in energy business on a cable-tool rig in Iola, Kansas, where he worked for his father and who served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II.

He arrived in Grand Junction, where he pursued oil and gas prospects in the Rocky Mountains and in 1962 he founded a company with Max Krey, another Pioneer of the Piceance, to explore, develop and produce natural gas in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Kansas.

He established production in Hunter Canyon and helped build a pipeline from there to Grand Junction. He also helped establish production from the Texas Mountain, Douglas Creek Arch, Badger Wash and Bridle fields in western Colorado.

Fees sold the operating part of his business in 1986 to National Fuels Corp. and became a wildcatter, drilling in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

He founded Walter S. Fees Jr. Oil and Gas LLC, in 1998. The company has operations in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

Fees was a 53-year member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, charter member of the Independent Petroleum Association and a member of the Denver and Grand Junction Petroleum Clubs.

Fees died in 2001.


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