Oil well interest picks up in western Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

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