By Barbara Cotter and Daniel Chacon – The Gazette
Ultra Resources Inc., the Houston-based company that bought 18,000 acres of the Banning Lewis Ranch in October, filed permits with the state last week to drill two wells on the sprawling property, despite a six-month drilling moratorium enacted by the city of Colorado Springs.
It’s the first step Ultra has taken to drill within city limits. The company already plans to conduct exploratory drilling for oil and gas on three to four sites in unincorporated areas of El Paso County early next year.
Ultra filed its applications with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Dec. 15, but several processes must play out before they can be approved. There’s a 10-day completeness review, followed by a 20-day comment period, said Margaret Ash, manager of the commission’s field inspection group. She was in Colorado Springs on Wednesday night for a public meeting to explain the state’s oil-and-gas regulatory procedures. About 20 people attended the meeting.