Drilling in Moffat, Routt counties will continue through 2015
Southwestern Energy’s oil and gas play in Northwest Colorado got much bigger in July after the company entered an agreement to acquire an additional 74,000 net acres of mineral leases in the Niobrara shale formation for $31 million.
Two ballot initiatives that would seek a pair of constitutional amendments in the November election have been cleared for signature gathering by the Colorado Supreme Court. One, Initiative 88, would would dramatically increase the distance wells must be set back from homes, from the current 500 feet to 2,000 feet.
Southwestern vice president for the Sand Wash Basin project Doug Van Slambrouck told the Routt County Planning Commission that his company is contemplating a projected 15 additional wells in 2015.
Shell announced in August 2013 it would be divesting itself of its leases in the Niobrara shale of Northwest Colorado to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and Southwestern Energy acquired those leases in March for $180 million.
Energy boom or bust? It all depends on what's found
Dorris and John Zimmerman have been living on their property just on the west edge of Craig for almost 40 years. The couple built their home in 1967 and raised their children there. In 1987, they welcomed an energy company on their land, allowing it to implement hydraulic fracturing as one means to extract gas and oil from the earth. The well has been there ever since, pulling energy resources out of the ground. In that time the Zimmermans said the well has seen at least three hydraulic fracturing efforts.
The State Air Quality Control Commission voted in February to require oil and gas wells across the state, including existing wells, to capture the air pollutants known as VOCs, including methane. As it turns out, Shell Oil had already agreed to live up to similar standards in Routt County.
Southwestern Energy announces multimillion-dollar deal to purchase mineral leases in Moffat and Routt counties
Southwestern Energy announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement to purchase 312,000 net acres in Moffat and Routt counties for $180 million, according to a press release.
All three Routt County commissioners signed a letter to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission indicating their support for statewide application of the new rules requiring capture of poisonous gases emitted in oil and gas fields.
Shell Oil has applied to Routt County for drilling permits for a well at Dill Gulch southwest of Hayden and another about 5 miles north of town.
Citizens Supporting Property Rights asserts there is a way to put in adequate protections for sage grouse while allowing for future oil and gas development.
Shell isn’t alone among energy companies looking for surer bets amid falling prices and a more difficult production climate.
Ecologist Charles A. S. Hall told an overflow crowd at Bud Werner Memorial Library on Tuesday night that if the modern denizens of the high plains understood their relationship to fossil fuels the way the Sioux Indians of the 18th century understood bison, they surely would behave differently.
Shell Oil's Steve Compton told the Routt County Board of Commissioners that Shell intends to go beyond state regulations to sample more wells than required and return more frequently than required to sample the wells after drilling is completed.
Shell has proposed to go beyond the newest water well monitoring requirements imposed by the State of Colorado for new oil wells at Camilletti pad, and unlike Quicksilver, does not plan to frack the well.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a permit that would allow drilling of the new Wiregrass oil well in far northwestern Routt County.