Routt County Planning Commission to consider Camilletti oil well permit
April 3, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been update to correct the location of the proposed well.
The Routt County Planning Commission will consider Thursday night an application by energy company Quicksilver Resources to drill a new oil well on the Camilletti Ranch north of Milner.
The planning commissioners already have discussed the permit application thoroughly after tabling the matter in January. At the time, they felt they could not make a formal recommendation to approve or deny the project because the Routt County Board of Commissioners and county planning staff were in the midst of revising and adding to conditions of approval that would be used to evaluate Quicksilver's request for a special use permit.
The original tabling reset the hearing for March 1, but that date was postponed at the request of the applicant. In the meantime, Quicksilver Resources won approval for a different well, farther to the west on Wolf Mountain, by a 2-1 vote of the county commissioners on March 20. That application was approved by a 7-2 vote of the Planning Commission.
During a marathon session of more than seven hours, the county commissioners hammered out detailed language for conditions of approval that were cited in the affirmative vote on the Wolf Mountain well. Some of those same conditions now could apply to the Camilletti well application.
The Camilletti well pad would be accessed directly from U.S. Highway 40 without using county roads. Quicksilver Resources indicated that it intends to use a portion of an existing private ranch road before branching off to connect to the 2.8-acre pad site. The private access road to the drilling site will cross Cheney and Little Cheney creeks, requiring a water body setback permit from the county.
County officials said that although the drilling operation would be visible from a stretch of U.S. 40, it would be screened from the view of residents of Milner.
A closed loop system would be used to handle drilling fluids on site, negating the need for open pits. Quicksilver plans to haul away fluids that are contaminated with chemical compounds.
During the original Planning Commission hearing Jan. 19, one neighbor said that if the Camilletti well is drilled, she would have views of that rig and oil wells on Wolf Mountain. At the time, Kathleen Campbell said she was concerned about the potential for additional wells in the area and the effects of oil and gas development on neighboring property values.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com