Energy policy — oil and gas: Colorado steps up investigation of hydraulic fracturing

A picture named marcellushydraulicfracturing.jpg

From The Denver Post (Mark Jaffe):

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which oversees drilling, asked the [U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce] for the Colorado data [from their recent investigation]. “The committee said that for confidentiality reasons they could not share it,” said Dave Neslin, the commission director…

The commission has asked the 12 field-service companies that do “fracking” and the principal oil and gas companies in the state for the information. Neslin said the industry is cooperating. “We support the review because the oil-and-gas industry works and plays in the same communities where we operate, so protecting groundwater is important to us,” said Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a trade group…

The commission also decided Tuesday to have an independent agency — the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations — audit the state’s regulations on fracking.

More coverage from Mark Jaffe writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

Tracy Dahl, who owns a home in the North Fork Ranch subdivision in Las Animas County, was seeking a judgment from the commission against Pioneer Natural Resources for fouling his well. Dahl’s case centered on the fact that his well filled with sediment last June 30 — the same day Pioneer fracked its Alibi well about 1,300 feet away…

Peter Gintautus, a commission environmental specialist, inspected the Dahl property July 1, took samples and returned for additional samples. There were no traces of fracking fluid or natural gas in the well, Gintautus said. And the well’s turbidity and bacterial counts were within the acceptable standards, he said. Gintautus told the commission that some of the problems may have been caused by a chlorination treatment Dahl had done to the well a few weeks earlier. Kevin Tanner, a Pioneer engineer, testified that the distance from the fracture zone to Dahl’s well was 1,283 feet and that a frac on average extends 150 to 200 feet horizontally and about 30 feet vertically. The process would have lost pressure if it had gone farther or hit a natural fracture, he said.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply