Broomfield plans to protest well applications
Broomfield will protest six spacing applications filed by Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. and Crestone Peak Resources, hoping to bump them from the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission meeting set for next month in Durango.
Councilman Kevin Kreeger said he doesn’t see much choice other than to protest if the city council wants the applications for 185 wells heard in Denver.
City council members reached their decision Tuesday night after a public study session. The deadline to file a protest is Aug. 28.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Law-Evans said she was “floored” that the COGCC can’t figure out a more effective way for residents to participate in hearings, especially considering available technology.
“I don’t understand it,” she said. “I really don’t understand it. I want citizens to have the ability to be heard without driving to Durango.”
Since March 1, the Broomfield Oil and Gas Comprehensive Task Force Update Committee has been working on new oil and gas rules for the city’s comprehensive plan.
Committee members are nearing the end of their work — something that council has repeatedly said it wants to wait to adopt before negotiating with oil and gas operators.
“Let’s make sure they’re close and that we have enough time to review this and come to our own conclusion about their work,” Law-Evans said.
Crestone’s spacing application covers 3-square miles mostly in the northeast portion of Broomfield, and some in unincorporated Weld County. It asks for as many as 44 wells to be drilled from up to four well sites. Those locations have not been identified.
Earlier this year, Extraction had proposed drilling 141 wells from six pads in northeast Broomfield. After the task force was created, Extraction canceled its COGCC application, which was scheduled to be heard in May.
The company refiled in July and has worked with the task force to supply data and information.
The company now wants to drill 99 wells from four pads in Broomfield. Eleven other wells will be drilled in Broomfield, but from outside the city, city and county manager Charles Ozaki said.
Broomfield’s outside legal counsel Phillip Barber estimated the cost of protesting the applications could cost more than $100,000. Last year, when the city protested six applications, which Extraction later withdrew, it cost about $50,000.
Councilman Mike Shelton said he doesn’t want to spend money in legal costs, but said spending $100,000 could be an effective way of getting those cases heard.
“If you look at it in that context, it doesn’t seem so bad,” he said.