Routt County grants Shell Oil a second well permit in Hayden area |

Routt County grants Shell Oil a second well permit in Hayden area

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted 2-0 Tuesday night, with Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak absent, to approve Shell Oil's second drilling permit of the summer. Tuesday’s vote was for a new oil well at Gnat Hill near Hayden.

The well site is about eight miles outside Hayden on Routt County Road 65. There are no homes close to the well, according to documents filed with the Routt County Regional Planning Department.

Shell, which won approval of a permit to drill the Dawson Creek well in July, does not plan to using hydraulic fracturing techniques at Gnat Hill.

Scott Scheffler, a communications adviser for Shell Oil in Houston, confirmed this week that his company has yet to begin work at Dawson Creek.

"We are still about a month or more away from the time that the rig arrives to this area," Scheffler wrote in an email. "In fact, we still have road construction and improvements to make the site ready."

On Monday, prior to Tuesday's vote, county commissioners Doug Monger and Diane Mitsch Bush discussed Shell's plans to drill two water-quality monitoring wells at Gnat Hill. Shell has previously expressed a willingness to abide by the county’s conditions for approval for oil and gas wells. Those conditions have been a point of contention with Quicksilver Resources, which has argued the county does not have authority to impose guidelines beyond those mandated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

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To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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