Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met on February 10th at
in Suite 801, The Chancery Building, 1120 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado, for a hearing in Cause Nos.
1R and 1V.
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 RatonBasin 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
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 DeltaCounty and GunnisonCounty 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
on February 12, 2003.The DNR legislative reception is on February 19, 2003 from to DNR will work with the Bureau of Land
Management on The Roan Plateau Management Plan as a cooperative effort.
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 GunnisonCounty 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 DeltaCounty is not against oil and gas
but would like to have input to address citizens’ concerns.DeltaCounty does not agree with the
bumper stickers circulating that state “No gas wells in DeltaCounty”.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
Shane Henry explained that the DNR has facilitated several
discussions with GunnisonCounty.DNR would be willing to continue facilitating
discussions with the counties.Chair
Sonnenberg would like the Commission to be kept informed if the counties’
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.
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.
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.
for Stay was filed by Monument Gas Marketing.AttorneyDel 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
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,
The Secretary was therefore authorized to issue the
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.