PureWest Energy Gift to UW School of Energy Resources Advances Natural Gas Research

January 17, 2023

A $250,000 gift from PureWest Energy LLC to the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) will support Wyoming natural gas research.

The contribution will establish the PureWest Energy Natural Gas Research Fund to support research conducted by SER faculty, staff and students that is focused on Wyoming’s natural gas — methane detection and abatement, blue hydrogen, potential blockchain applications, and carbon capture, utilization and storage.

“The University of Wyoming is at the cutting edge of energy research, including maximizing energy production, minimizing the industry’s environmental impact and leading greenhouse gas emission reduction technology,” says PureWest CEO Chris Valdez. “Wyoming’s natural gas resources are pivotal to American energy production, and PureWest is excited to partner with UW’s School of Energy Resources to further advance research in natural gas and greenhouse gas emission reduction — an endeavor that will benefit the Rockies, the United States and our world.”

“Wyoming natural gas plays a vital role in the state and beyond,” says SER Executive Director Holly Krutka. “PureWest Energy’s leadership in environmental stewardship and minimizing methane intensity of the gas it produces is inspiring. SER will continue to support Wyoming’s natural gas sector through research support. This financial support from PureWest Energy provides the freedom to tackle novel initiatives.”

PureWest Energy LLC (formerly Ultra Petroleum) is a private energy company focused on developing its long-term natural gas reserves in the Pinedale and Jonah fields of Wyoming’s Green River Basin. PureWest Energy controls more than 126,000 gross acres (115,000 net acres) in and around the prolific Pinedale and Jonah fields.

“PureWest remains committed to producing natural gas in the most responsible way possible and, as the largest producer of natural gas in Wyoming, we look forward to the valuable insight and tangible results this collaboration will yield,” Valdez says. “Ensuring our practices and policies are safe and environmentally responsible is our utmost priority, and PureWest is dedicated to advancing meaningful energy research.”

PureWest Energy has generously supported the university and SER with substantial gifts, making its first commitment in 2009 to create the Ultra Petroleum Visiting Chair in Energy. In 2013, the company made a $2 million gift, doubled to $4 million by the state of Wyoming, to support the launch of the High Bay Research Facility and to advance the Tier-1 Engineering Initiative at UW.

“UW has a long-standing history with PureWest Energy, for which we are grateful,” says Angela Ver Ploeg, UW Foundation director of corporate engagement. “The company’s commitment to collaborate with the state and the university to advance impactful research has made — and will continue to make — a significant difference.”