BEFORE THE OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

 

            IN THE MATTER OF THE PROMULGATION                   )           CAUSE NO. 315

            AND ESTABLISHMENT OF FIELD RULES                     )

            TO GOVERN OPERATIONS IN THE VERNON               )           ORDER NO. 315-10

            FIELD, YUMA COUNTY, COLORADO                              )          

 

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION

 

This cause came on for hearing before the Commission at 8:00 a.m. on October 2, 2007, in the Public Hearing Room, Old Court House, 544 Rood Avenue, 2nd Floor, Grand Junction, Colorado, for an order to allow the Allison 23-8 Well to be drilled at an exception location 1975 feet FNL and 660 feet FEL in the SEĽ NEĽ of Section 23, Township 1 South, Range 44 West, 6th P.M., for the production of gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

FINDINGS

 

The Commission finds as follows:

 

1.  Rosetta Resources, Inc. (“Rosetta”), as applicant herein, is an interested party in the subject matter of the above‑referenced hearing.

 

2.  Due notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing has been given in all respects as required by law.

 

3.  The Commission has jurisdiction over the subject matter embraced in said Notice, and of the parties interested therein, and jurisdiction to promulgate the hereinafter prescribed order pursuant to the Oil and Gas Conservation Act.

 

                        4.  On August 22, 1978, corrected November 20, 1978, the Commission issued Order No. 315-3, which among other things, established 160-acre drilling and spacing units for certain lands including Section 23, Township 1 South, Range 44 West 6th P.M., for the production of gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation, with the permitted well to be located no closer than 900 feet from the boundaries of the quarter section upon which it is located.

 

5.  On August 10, 2007, Rosetta, by its attorneys, filed with the Commission a verified application for an order to allow the Allison 23-8 Well to be drilled at an exception location 1975 feet FNL and 660 feet FEL in the SEĽ NEĽ of Section 23, Township 1 South, Range 44 West, 6th P.M., for the production of gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

6.  On September 19, 2007, Rosetta, by its attorney, filed with the Commission a written request to approve the application based on the merits of the verified application and the supporting exhibits.  Sworn written testimony and exhibits were submitted in support of the application.

 

7.  Testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the application showed that the applicant proposes to drill the Allison 23-8 Well at the proposed exception location to optimize recovery of reserves from the Niobrara Formation based upon geologic considerations.

 

8.  Testimony and exhibits submitted in support of the application showed that in order to prevent waste and protect correlative rights of all owners in the area surrounding the proposed location, it is reasonable and equitable to permit an exception location to allow the drilling of a well in the described location.  Applicant also asserts that Rule 318.c. of the Rules and Regulations of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission provides for exception locations when geologic, topographical or environmental conditions warrant a variance from field rules.

 

9.  Testimony and exhibits showed that waivers were requested from all contiguous and cornering owners in lands toward whom the well is proposed to be moved who are affected by the exception location.  Waivers have not been obtained but no party from whom a waiver is sought expressed an objection to the request. 

 

10.  The testimony and exhibits submitted indicate that Rosetta has complied with the requirements of 318.c. and, in fact, the applicant is also entitled to a variance under Rule 502.b. since waivers were requested, but not obtained, by all parties.  Additional testimony indicated that nearly four (4) months has elapsed since sending the request for waivers, without any objection from the parties to whom the requests were sent.

 

11.  The above-referenced testimony and exhibits show that the proposed exception location will allow more efficient reservoir drainage, will prevent waste, will assure a greater ultimate recovery of gas, and will not violate correlative rights.

 

12.  Rosetta Resources, Inc. agreed to be bound by oral order of the Commission.

 

13.  Based on the facts stated in the verified application, having received no protests and having received 6 out of the 11 waivers requested, and based on the Hearing Officer review of the application under Rule 511.b., the Commission should enter an order to allow the Allison 23-8 Well to be drilled at an exception location 1975 feet FNL and 660 feet FEL in the SEĽ NEĽ of Section 23, Township 1 South, Range 44 West, 6th P.M., for the production of gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

ORDER

 

NOW, THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED, that the Allison 23-8 Well is hereby approved to be drilled at an exception location 1975 feet FNL and 660 feet FEL in the SEĽ NEĽ of Section 23, Township 1 South, Range 44 West, 6th P.M., for the production of gas and associated hydrocarbons from the Niobrara Formation.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the provisions contained in the above order shall become effective forthwith.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Commission expressly reserves its right, after notice and hearing, to alter, amend or repeal any and/or all of the above orders.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that under the State Administrative Procedure Act the Commission considers this order to be final agency action for purposes of judicial review within thirty (30) days after the date this order is mailed by the Commission.

 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that an application for reconsideration by the Commission of this order is not required prior to the filing for judicial review.

 

ENTERED this__________day of October, 2007, as of October 2, 2007.

           

                                                                        OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION

                                                                        OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

 

 

                                                                        By____________________________________          

                                                                                    Patricia C. Beaver, Secretary

Dated at Suite 801

1120 Lincoln Street

Denver, Colorado 80203

October 16, 2007