Shell Oil seeks 2nd well permit this summer in Hayden area |

Shell Oil seeks 2nd well permit this summer in Hayden area

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners is set to hear Shell Oil's latest permit application for an oil well.

The proposed Gnat Hill well pad would be built 7.8 miles southeast of Hayden and north of Routt County Road 65. The commissioners will hold a public hearing on the permit application at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Matt Holman, project manager for the well, told the Routt County Planning Commission on Aug. 2 that the well would not employ hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, nor would any open pit be used for byproducts of the drilling process. Shell also intends to install water-quality monitoring wells.

The Planning Commission voted, 8-1, to recommend approval of the Gnat Hill permit application. Commissioner Richard Klumker dissented because he objected to the inclusion of a condition of approval intended to protect wildlife habitat for sage grouse and elk. The meeting minutes reflect that Klumker felt that the wildlife could take care of itself and that the condition was unnecessary.

The vote on the permit application came after one member of the public, Rodger Steen, of the Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley, suggested some changes to the conditions of approval regarding air-quality monitoring. However, Steen said that in meetings with his organization, Holman to at least some degree had allayed its concerns on a range of issues.

The Gnat Hill site is not close to any homes.

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Shell obtained a permit from the county earlier this summer to begin drilling the Dawson Creek well southeast of Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

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

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