Drilling may return in Boulder County
Crestone Peak Resources’ bid to develop 216 drilling wells along Boulder County’s eastern reaches could be realized as soon as 2019, company officials said Thursday.
The Denver-based operator plans to develop a 12square-mile oil field near U.S. 287 and Colorado 52 between Longmont and Lafayette.
The company will release an information package — including a detailed map of where certain wells, pipelines and roads used to develop the oil field will be located on the site — to the public by the end of September, according to a schedule recommended by the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission.
A final version of the comprehensive drilling plan could appear in front of the COGCC as early as March.
Crestone’s CDP application — an approach that gives regulators room to shape rules as they go — is the first to be filed along Colorado’s Front Range, according to assistant Boulder County attorney Kate Burke.
“On the Front Range, there is a competitive situation going on where there are multiple operators with mineral interests in overlapping areas,” Burke said earlier this year upon announcement of the plans. “The difference in this process is that it provides for more coordination.”
The bundled application would likely take the next year and a half to work its way through both state and county approval, said Crestone spokesman Jason Oates.
“There’s so many different agencies that need to be involved,” Oates said, “so instead of doing them in a series, we felt like if we (bring everyone) to the table at once, we’re not getting conflicting guidance from each group. We can discuss in a more collaborative way and hopefully get to a solution that meets everybody’s needs.”
The proposal will first go through state regulatory scrutiny before the company brings it to the county next year, he said.
Oates says that the company has no intention of drilling before 2019.
Boulder County until May had a five-year ban on processing all new drilling applications. Under scrutiny from the industry and a lawsuit from Colorado’s attorney general, the county lifted its moratorium on May 1.
Despite the broadened approach, residents living within those 12-square miles have found themselves in the cross hairs of one the county’s potentially largest fracking projects at a time of deep mistrust in the industry.
“My biggest concern overall is that (Crestone) is making decisions on a daily basis that we know nothing about,” said Nanner Fisher, whose home sits in center of the company’s drilling plans. “They may have a deadline set, but once that deadline comes, what voice as a people do we have?”