RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
December 3, 2001
The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met on December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. in Suite 801, the Chancery Building, 1120 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado, for a hearing in Cause No. 522 and a discussion on the proposed COGCC Policy for Plugged and Abandoned Wells and E&P Waste Encountered by Surface Development Projects.
Those present were:
Stephen Sonnenberg Chair
Brian Cree Commissioner
Michael Klish Commissioner
Peter Mueller Commissioner
Abe Phillips Commissioner
Lynn Shook Commissioner
Carol Harmon Assistant Attorney General
Rich Griebling Director
Brian Macke Deputy Director
Patricia Beaver Hearings Manager
All Commissioners except Commissioner Cree unanimously approved the minutes from the October 2001 meeting.
Director’s Report: Director Griebling provided a written report and discussed the following: It is anticipated that the number of permits approved this year will not break the record, but will come close. COGCC staff met the December 1st deadline to get the draft annual report required by the Williams Fork 20-acre density order out to the parties for review. A presentation will be made at the January 2002 hearing on the final report. The 3M Project is on hold until the spring. John Duran is the new southeast Colorado field inspector. Ernie Slatton is the new IT person. Barbara Browning will retire on December 28th after approximately six years of service. The January 2002 hearing will be held in Greeley. Four variances were granted this month under Rule 502.b.
AAG’s Report: Assistant Attorney General Harmon has provided a memo today regarding encroachment on structures to oil and gas facilities. Her time has been taken up with numerous litigation matters. She has a difference of opinion with the La Plata County attorney over what should be designated as the record in the Rule 303.a. judicial review matter. An executive session is needed to discuss the Allen Oil and Gas federal case which is being handled by Will Allen of the litigation section of the AG’s office. The Commission approved unanimously the going into and coming out of executive session.
Commissioner Comments: There were no comments.
Overview of the Report on Economic Comparison of the Rules and Regulations of the COGCC: Lisa McDonald made a presentation on the results from the economic comparison of Colorado’s rules with rules of other states. She described the process used to gather and analyze data, and provided insights and recommendations for the Commission’s consideration.
Discussion of the draft COGCC Policy for Plugged and Abandoned Wells and E&P Waste Encountered by Surface Development Projects: Brian Macke presented an overview of and explained the purpose for the proposed policy with updated language based on written comments received from John Spillane. Comments were provided by John Spillane on behalf Gateway American Properties, LLC and other surface developers, by Ken Wonstolen on behalf of COGA, by Gordon Stevens on behalf of Adams County, and by Rick Brady on behalf of the City of Greeley and the Colorado Municipal League. After discussion, the amended policy was adopted unanimously by the Commission.
Executive Director’s Report: Shane Henry, Assistant Director, Department of Natural Resources discussed the following: The Department is in the final stages of completing its annual report on all the agencies within DNR to be sent to hundreds of interested parties. Chris Castilian has been selected as the new Director of the State Land Board and will start on December 17th.
Audience Comments: Greg Schnacke, Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) welcomed new Commissioners Mueller and Shook; he thanked Lisa McDonald for the report she prepared and presented; Mac Duckworth who works for Devon is the new COGA Raton Basin chapter president; COGA has prepared a new brochure for distribution; COGA is concerned about a JBC recommendation to move all excess severance taxes to the general fund; the COGA Legislative Reception will be held January 17, 2002 at the Grant-Humphries Mansion; the recently broadcast Channel 9 news story regarding a homeowner near a gas well recently is actually old news and has already been handled by the oil and gas company after a Commission hearing. That was not made clear during the broadcast; Channel 9 asked COGA, who declined, to identify potential targets in the oil and gas fields that might be attacked by terrorists.
Cause No. 232, Docket No. 0112-UP-07, request by Patina Oil & Gas Corporation for an order to pool all non-consenting interests in the 320-acre drilling and spacing unit consisting of the E½ of Section 2, Township 4 North, Range 64 West, 6th P.M. for the development and operation of the “J” Sand Formation was withdrawn.
Cause No. 1V, Docket No. 0112-OV-10, request to approve an Order Finding Violation finding Rocky Mountain Operating Company in violation of Rule 326.b.(1), failure to perform and pass a mechanical integrity test on the Nichols No. 1-14 Well, located in the SE¼ NW¼ of Section 14, Township 10 South, Range 97 West, 6th P.M. was continued to the January 2002 hearing.
Cause No. 1V, Docket No. 0112-OV-11, request to approve an Order Finding Violation finding Rocky Mountain Operating Company in violation of Rule 326.b.(1), failure to perform and pass a mechanical integrity test on the Nichols No. 1-23 Well, located in the SW¼ NE¼ of Section 23, Township 10 South, Range 97 West, 6th P.M. was continued to the January 2002 hearing.
Consent Agenda: The Commission unanimously approved the consent agenda, which included the following:
Cause No. 522, Docket No. 0112-SP-04, request by Walsh Production, Inc. to remove the SW¼ NW¼ and SW¼ NE¼ of Section 13, Township 8 North, Range 59 West from the provisions of Order No. 492-2 and to establish 80-acre spacing in Sections 13 and 24, Township 8 North, Range 59 West, 6th P.M. for production of oil and associated hydrocarbons from the “D” Sand Formation.
The meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.
The Secretary was therefore authorized to issue the following orders:
Order No. 522-1, South Lilli Field, Weld County: Approves the request by Walsh Production, Inc. to remove the SW¼ NW¼ and SW¼ NE¼ of Section 13, Township 8 North, Range 59 West from the provisions of Order No. 492-2 and to establish 80-acre spacing in Sections 13 and 24, Township 8 North, Range 59 West, 6th P.M. for production of oil and associated hydrocarbons from the “D” Sand Formation.
Patricia C. Beaver, Secretary
Stephen Sonnenberg, Chair