Williams buys Orion holdings near Silt

A $258 million acquisition by Williams includes energy development holdings in the Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area near New Castle.

Williams spokeswoman Donna Gray said Tuesday the company has completed the purchase of the assets of Orion Energy Partners in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin. Williams had announced a major acquisition in August but had been bound by a confidentiality agreement regarding the seller’s identity, pending completion of the deal.

Orion’s holdings are in an area south of New Castle and Silt, and east of Williams’ current Piceance
Basin natural gas operations, which generally are centered in the Parachute and Rulison areas.

When Orion wanted to begin drilling in the 12,200-acre state wildlife area last year, it aroused concerns within the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which doesn’t own the underlying mineral rights
and was powerless to stop the drilling. However, the agency reached surface-use agreements to limit Orion’s impacts.

Those agreements apply to four well pads and prohibit drilling during hunting season, and during the winter and spring, Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said.

Gray said Williams intends to abide by those agreements and will meet with the Division of Wildlife about its future plans.

“We’re sensitive to their concerns about their wildlife area, and we definitely want to work with them,” Gray said.

She said Williams has had a good working relationship with the Division of Wildlife. Hampton of the DOW agreed.

Orion officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Williams said in August that its purchase will add 21,800 acres of gas development rights to the approximately 190,000 it already holds in the Piceance.

It said the purchase includes 28 wells producing 24 million cubic feet equivalent per day; related gas and water gathering facilities; 94 approved drilling permits; and more than 800 drillable locations at 10-acre spacing.

It said the acquisition includes about 150 billion cubic feet equivalent of net gas reserves and could contain nearly 800 billion cubic feet.


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