Oil well interest picks up in western Routt County

Commissioners could approve 2nd permit for drilling


If you go

What: Public hearing on a drilling permit for True Oil

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Commissioners Hearing Room in the historic Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners could vote to approve the second West Routt oil and gas well in three weeks this afternoon when they consider a special use permit for a 10,000-foot-deep well proposed by True Oil LLC.

The commissioners unanimously approved a plan Oct. 26 for a new oil well being planned by J-W Operating Co. on State Trust lands three miles north of Hayden.

True Oil’s plan involves a site 4.5 miles southwest of Hayden and north of Routt County Road 65. Despite the recent uptick in energy exploration in the Hayden area, county planner Chris Brookshire told Commissioner Doug Monger she doesn’t expect a real surge of activity.

“I’m getting quite a few calls about wells, and I was contacted by a seismic company wanting to do some work out there, but we’re not being bombarded by oil and gas companies,” Brookshire said.

She theorized that much of the speculative interest could be traced to a recent high-producing well in Weld County, east of the Front Range. What that well and the rolling terrain around Hayden have in common, Brookshire said, is layers of Niobrara shale beneath the surface.

The Jake Well in Weld County was struck in February and produced 50,000 barrels in the first 90 days. The Niobrara is the same oil-bearing rock that is underlying productive wells just over the Park Range from Hayden and Steamboat in Jackson County.

The county commissioners told Brookshire on Monday that they will want to learn more about True Oil’s transportation plan and specifically how it will time heavy truck traffic to ensure safety on C.R. 65 (Breese Basin Boulevard) where it passes closely by Hayden Valley Elementary School. They also want more information about plans to improve an existing private road and how nearby grouse habitat will be protected.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com


kathy foos 6 years, 5 months ago

Good job commissioners,make it be safe and right,I hope it wont effect the under gound mines if it sets off an earthquake,wouldn't want them hurt.12,000.00 feet and 10,000.00 feet is a long way down,we are close to the supervolcano in yellowstone.Anyway thanks commissioners for making sure our county is protected..Or trying to at least.The site better be signed and fenced,common sense safety.Berms large enough, for handling trouble and insurance to cover trouble,or funds put aside,to cleanup or shutdown (cap) safely,dont just leave some volitile situation sitting around for an explosion to come out of nowhere like it did in 2007.Make them process their product safely and completely.Thanks


Marcus 6 years, 5 months ago

I do commend you on being proactive in an effort to protect the community. The traffic issue is a hot topic in many areas, not just associated with oil & gas activity, look at I-70. However, there are a few things that need to be corrected and clarified with your posted comment.

1.) Thousands of wells have been drilled on the Pine Dale anticline and in the Jonah Field which are both a lot closer to Yellow Stone than the Southwestern Flank of the Sandwash Basin (Yampa Valley). There also has been several thousand wells drilled in the area of Hayden, Craig, RANGLEY oil field, and Maybell. None of this drilling has set off the super volcano. I am not sure where you got the idea that the super volcano could erupt because of a oil or gas well. 2.) Here is the Link to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Website (COGCC) where you will be able to find the rules and regulations regarding oil and gas drilling and locations with respect to both rural and urban areas. (http://cogcc.state.co.us/). Click on Rules. Well pads are typically fenced and bermed. It is a COGCC requirement that ALL well pads have a sign indicating the operator, well name and number, and an emergency contact. Operators have to obtain a well permit or APD in the form of a Form 2 and a Form 2a before a well can be spud or a location can be built. 3.) Typically coal mines are not more than a few thousand feet deep. Mining Companies as well as oil and gas companies lease the mineral rights from a person which allows a company to extract the leased minerals. Oil and Gas wells are typically not drilled through coal mines but there are some exceptions. The J-W well would be located several miles from any active coal mine and would probably not affect an existing coal mine. I am just trying to make sure you and the general public understand the facts and how to access the COGCC web-site for pertinent information pertaining to oil and gas drilling. I think you should become more familiar with oil and gas drilling rules, regulations and operational procedures Thanks


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