Oil company wins Banning Lewis bid

Wed, Jun 29, 2011


An oil and gas company submitted the winning bid to purchase 18,000 acres of the 21,000-acre Banning Lewis Ranch property on the eastern edge of town.

Ultra Resources, a subsidiary of Ultra Petroleum, won the bid for the assets of The Banning Lewis Ranch Company LLC, according to bankruptcy court documents. That holding is primarily the undeveloped land in the southern section of the expansive property bordered to the north by Woodmen Road, to the south by Fountain Boulevard to the east by Meridian Road and to the west by Marksheffel Road.

KeyBank National Association laid claim to the assets of Banning Lewis Ranch Development I & II, LLC, which consists of about 2,400 acres on the north end where some development has already occurred and homes have been selling since 2007.

Key Bank, based in Cleaveland, Ohio, was the second largest investor in the California-based development company’s projects. The bank loaned Banning Lewis more than $65.5 million.

Ultra Petroleum, the winning bidder on the largest chunk of the Banning Lewis property, explains on its homepage that it is “a leading independent energy company actively engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas.”

An advertisement for the Banning Lewis Ranch sale that appeared in the June 1 Wall Street Journal noted that the property has “potential mineral and oil & gas reserves for undeveloped acreage.”

A hearing was scheduled for this afternoon in the Delaware bankruptcy court.

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