Shell gives oil shale presentation in Hayden
Commercial oil shale development in Northwest Colorado is as many as 20 years away or more, said Tracy Boyd, Shell Frontier Oil and Gas’ venture integration manager. But that doesn’t mean municipalities, such as Hayden, aren’t keeping tabs on what companies like Shell Oil are doing.
Boyd gave a presentation Thursday about the company’s Mahogany Ridge Project in the Piceance Basin.
Hayden is one of a number of local entities that has filed a statement of opposition against Shell’s December 2008 application for Yampa River water rights. The application seeks 375 cubic feet per second during peak runoff from a site west of Maybell, which would be stored in a 45,000-acre foot reservoir in the Cedar Springs.
The water would be used for construction, drilling, producing operations and site reclamation, but Boyd said Shell would adopt strategies to reduce water consumption, such as treatment and reuse.
Shell’s project involves drilling as deep as 2,000 feet into the ground to, and at 750 degrees, heat the shale, which would be extracted to produce transportation fuels. It would produce two-thirds oil and one-third natural gas.
Boyd said oil shale production is so important because there’s as much of it in the U.S. as crude oil that’s been discovered in the rest of the world.
Despite the development of alternative energy sources, Boyd said the growth and demand for liquid oil is higher based on liquid fuel reliance for transportation needs.
The Town Council asked few questions after the presentation and didn’t discuss it.
Town Manager Russ Martin said Hayden is concerned that Shell’s application would affect the town’s water rights.
Hayden The recently completed three-lane Poplar Street in Hayden will get a new look.
The Hayden Town Council on Thursday gave Town Manager Russ Martin the OK to re-stripe the street, which opened Oct. 23, after about 6 weeks of construction that widened the street from two lanes to three from U.S. Highway 40 to the bridge over Dry Creek.
Martin said there were some concerns raised by residents. He said those included them not being able to safely back of out their driveways, a lack of on-street parking near their homes, the new street abutting one resident’s property line and whether a center turning lane was even necessary.
Council members gave Martin direction to pursue the project that will bring the street back to two lanes with six-foot shoulders on either side. Parking would be allowed in compliance with the town’s winter parking and street obstructions and encroachments ordinance on the shoulders, which will be separated from the street with a white line. There would only be turning lanes onto U.S. Highway 40.
Martin said there’s about $20,000 left in funding for the project to pay for what he estimates would be less than $5,000 to re-stripe Poplar. Only $50,000 in preliminary engineering fees were paid for by the town on the project. Grants and off-site improvement fees from the Lake Village subdivision paid for the $958,000 project.
Any grant funding not spent on the project would be returned to the state, Martin said.
Asked whether the town considered initially keeping Poplar two lanes, Martin said a traffic engineering study led to the three-lane design.
“Will it eventually have to be that way?” Martin said. “It might, but the traffic doesn’t dictate it has to be that way now.”
In the future, the road may be converted back to three lanes, when development creates a greater need for more access to the south. But Martin said he thought two lanes were the best current solution for Hayden. He said a two-lane road complied with the grant funding, which was provided to help improve access for emergency service vehicles.
In other action
■ The Town Council gave Martin direction to pursue purchase of a new computer for the water plant. Council members wanted to verify wording providing by Timber Line Electric & Control Corporation, of Morrison, that the town would get the “latest” model computer and software.
Martin said the computer was the “brain” of the water plant and helps it operate efficiently. The computer was purchased in 2003 and runs on Windows 2000. He said recent concerns about its operability, including not being able to update its software because of the old operating system, prompted the town to pursue purchasing a new nearly $14,000 computer — costs that include the software, training and installation — in the 2010 proposed budget.
Purchasing the computer now would allow the town to work out any bugs before high water usage during the summer.