February 10, 2003


            The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met on February 10th at 10:00 a.m. in Suite 801, The Chancery Building, 1120 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado, for a hearing in Cause Nos. 1R and 1V.


            Those present were:


                        Stephen Sonnenberg           Chair

Brian Cree                             Vice Chair

                        Tom Ann Casey                    Commissioner

                        Michael Klish                         Commissioner

                        Peter Mueller                         Commissioner

                        Tom Reagan                          Commissioner

Lynn Shook                            Commissioner

Carol Harmon                        Assistant Attorney General

                        Richard Griebling                  Director

Brian Macke                          Deputy Director

                        Patricia Beaver                     Hearings Manager


            The Commission unanimously approved the minutes from the January 6, 2002 hearing.


            Director’s Report:  Director Griebling provided a written report and discussed the following: The number of Applications for Permits-to-Drill (“APDs”) is on track for issuance of approximately 2000 permits this year.  The new Northeast Colorado Field Inspector starts on February 20th.  Two administrative positions are still vacant but are currently filled with temps.  COGCC staff should be caught up on production data entry by April or May.  Commissioner Cree asked about the attendance at the Hotchkiss meeting and about participation by the COGCC Commissioners.  Commissioner Reagan commented on his perception of the meeting he attended.  Deputy Director Macke introduced the Delta County Commissioners and Local Governmental Designee.  The delegation from India was well received.  COGCC staff did a great job putting information together for the presentations.  COGCC GIS Administrator Jim Milne made an informative presentation at last Friday’s RMAG lunch. Three variances have been granted since last month.  Loren Avis discussed the Raton Basin sampling project in which water analyses of hundreds of water and gas wells from various studies performed from 1989 to the present have been conducted.  Water chemistry has been analyzed on both water and gas wells, and gas chemistry has been analyzed on gas wells and water wells containing gas.  The project is being conducted to see if there have been any changes from 1989 to the present within the shallow aquifers due to gas and produced water extraction.  No changes have been identified thusfar.  A presentation to the oil and gas industry is being planned once the project is completed.  Chair Sonnenberg requested that a presentation be made first to the Commission.  Tony Gorody may recommend a new sampling protocol for COGCC staff to follow based on work he’s already done. 


Assistant Attorney General’s Report:  AAG Harmon sent out a confidential memo on litigation in the Commissioners’ packet.  An executive session is needed.  The Commission voted unanimously to hold an executive session at that time to discuss pending litigation in the Delta County and Gunnison County cases.


Executive Director’s Report:  Shane Henry, Assistant Director for the Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) thanked Brian Macke for the field tour with EnCana and Williams on February 7, 2003.  A Water Forum similar to the one held in Trinidad last year will be held in the fall.  The Executive Director’s Office has been asked to make a similar presentation to the Senate Ag Committee on April 2, 2003.  The only bill affecting the COGCC before the legislature on coalbed methane was postponed indefinitely.  Three Commissioners are to be confirmed at 9:30 a.m. on February 12, 2003.  The DNR legislative reception is on February 19, 2003 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  DNR will work with the Bureau of Land Management on The Roan Plateau Management Plan as a cooperative effort.


Commissioner Comments:  There were no comments.


Audience Comments:  Greg Schnacke, COGA, complimented COGCC staff and operators in Colorado for their participation with the Indian delegation.  COGA has hired Kathy Hall, former Mesa County Commissioner, to assist in western slope area issues.  Mr. Schnacke complemented the Commissioners for the outreach programs they are engaging in given the budget situation.  There are no bills currently before the legislature that directly affect COGCC.  Mr. Schnacke encouraged the Commissioners to attend the presentation before the Senate Ag Committee on April 2, 2003.


Delta County Commissioners Wayne Wolf, Ted Hayden and Jan McCracken spoke to the Commission.  Mr. Wolf mentioned that Gunnison County has been working on 1041 efforts.  They want to have COGCC staff or Commissioners engage in discussions on areas of statewide interest for oil and gas.  The county is concerned about land use and environmental issues that might result from a field being developed.  Mr. Wolf is most interested in offsite impacts.  The county has a process in permitting gravel pits that works well with the state process.  Mr. Hayden commented that Delta County is not against oil and gas but would like to have input to address citizens’ concerns.  Delta County does not agree with the bumper stickers circulating that state “No gas wells in Delta County”.  The county has contracted with the Colorado School of Mines to evaluate Gunnison Energy’s water report and to uncover water data housed in Montrose.  Jan McCracken believes education is the key in the issues before the Delta County Commissioners.  Mr. Wolf would like the Commission to designate staff or one of themselves to work with the counties interested in areas of statewide interest.  Chair Sonnenberg responded by saying that it may be difficult to have the Commissioners or staff participate in the meetings.  Mr. Wolf wants to designate areas that may be mostly public land where the county can have input.  They have signed a MOU with the Forest Service which is a similar idea for the area of statewide interest.  Commissioner Cree suggested that the counties work together to more specifically define their ideas and then come back to the COGCC.


Shane Henry explained that the DNR has facilitated several discussions with Gunnison County.  DNR would be willing to continue facilitating discussions with the counties.  Chair Sonnenberg would like the Commission to be kept informed if the counties’ discussions continue.


Cause No. 112, Docket No. 0302-UP-01, request for the acreage and mineral interest which have been included in the drilling unit for University #9-1 Well located in the E½ of Section 9, Township 34 North, Range 9 West to be pooled effective as of the 1993 date the well was completed and the Applicants be paid the money attributable to their mineral interests from the time of completion in 1993 to the present, was continued to the June hearing.


Cause No. 517, Docket No. 0302-GA-01, request for a variance to allow the Kildare #42-20 Well to be located closer than 150 feet from the surface owner’s property, was continued to the April hearing.


Cause No. 1R, Docket No. 0302-RM-01, request to approve amendments to Rules 303.d., 303.k., and 503.b.(6), and the statement of basis and purpose were approved with minor modifications.  In addition, changes to Rules 508.j. and 508.k. were unanimously approved.


A Motion for Stay was filed by Monument Gas Marketing.  Attorney Del Haroldson was requesting a stay until the entire matter is resolved, pending judicial review.  Exceptions were also filed for the Commission to consider.  AAG Harmon counseled the Commission that the time for filing for judicial review had expired and therefore the Commission could not grant a stay.  The motion for stay was unanimously denied.


Consent Agenda:  The Commission unanimously approved the consent agenda, which included the following:


Cause No. 1V, Docket No. 0302-OV-02, request to approve an Administrative Order by Consent finding EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc. in violation of Rule 602.b., failure to comply with the approved Access and Transportation Plan for access to the Grass Mesa Ranch 27-2B1 Well located in the NW¼ NE¼ of Section 27, Township 6 South, Range 93 West, 6th P.M. and the AOC adopted by the Commission on December 2, 2002.


The meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.


            The Secretary was therefore authorized to issue the following orders:


            Order No. 1R-93, Statewide:  Approves amendments to Rules 303.d., 303.k., 503.b.(6)., 508.j., 508.k.(3)., and 508.k.(3)B.


            Order No. 1V-243, Garfield County:  Approves an Administrative Order by Consent finding EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc. in violation of Rule 602.b., failure to comply with the approved Access and Transportation Plan for access to the Grass Mesa Ranch 27-2B1 Well located in the NW¼ NE¼ of Section 27, Township 6 South, Range 93 West, 6th P.M. and the AOC adopted by the Commission on December 2, 2002 and assesses a fine of One Thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for the violation.





Patricia C. Beaver, Secretary



Stephen Sonnenberg, Chair