GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) -- The most active driller in Colorado's gas-rich Piceance Basin plans to operate nine or 10 rigs there in 2009, down from the 20 it originally expected.
The Tulsa-based Williams Companies is blaming the credit crunch and proposed new state rules for drilling.
Williams spokeswoman Susan Alvillar says credit markets forced the company to stop borrowing to finance drilling and operate on a cash basis.
She says the company is spending "quite a bit of money" to hire compliance officers for the new rules, although they aren't in force yet.
The company operated about 25 rigs in the basin last year.