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Last updated 8:13PM ET
December 12, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
BP Details Third LaPlata Gas Well Expansion
(2008-08-27)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: BP has disclosed details of the third phase of a major coalbed methane gas well expansion in LaPlata County.
Though it's moving closer to the Fruitland Outcrop area, company officials say they'll stay clear of the environmentally sensitive area, for now.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: BP hopes to win Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approval in October for phase three of what's known as an 80-acre infill drilling program.
BP began the infill effort, which involves placing second directionally drilled wells on existing well pads, in 2005 and filed a second application for more wells in 2006.
The company ultimately plans to spend 2-point-5 billion dollars, adding 700 new wells to capture hard to get coalbed methane gas.
BP's Dave Brucker detailed the companies plans at an open house last night.
He says the new wells would be drilled in areas mostly west of Bayfield and North of 160, and East of Bayfield and 160.
BRUCKER: THE TOTAL POTENTIAL NUMBER OF NEW WELLS WOULD BE 256 BUT IT IS UNLIKELY THAT WE WOULD DRILL ALL OF THOSE.
Brucker says BP is not proposing any infill wells closer than three miles to the Fruitland Outcrop though the infill area is moving in that direction.
The outcrop is an area where the gas bearing coal seams of the San Juan basin come to or near the surface where there are concerns about gas seepage, the potential for coal seam fires and other environmental concerns.
Brucker says they could move into that three mile buffer later.
BRUCKER: WE'LL LOOK AT DEVELOPING CLOSER THAN THE THREE MILE LIMIT THAT WE'RE AT RIGHT NOW. WE WANT TO FULL UNDERSTAND HOW WE CAN BEST USE UTILIZE OUR HORIZONTAL WELL TECHNOLOGY AND OUR DIRECTIONAL DRILLING TECHNOLOGY TO ACCESS THE RESOURCES THAT ARE IN THAT AREA NORTH OF THE INFILL AREA. WE NEED TO FULLY TAKE A LOOK AT, SEE WHAT THE BEST DEVELOPMENT PLANS WOULD BE FOR BOTH THE MINERALS AND THE SURFACE OWNERS.
And, BP expects to request even more infill wells in the future.
After a short presentation, those at the open house had the opportunity to ask questions of BP experts on drilling technology, surface agreements, environmental impacts and more.
LaPlata County Manager Shawn Nau says while the natural gas industry is crucial to the local economy, the county plans to craft a memorandum of understanding, or MOU with BP that will protect the public health and safety and environment.
The MOU could resemble those drafted for the 2005 and 2006 infill projects.
Josh Joswick with the San Juan Citizens Alliance says they'd like to take a closer look at the MOU.
JOSWICK: WE REALLY HAVEN'T SAT DOWN AND DISCUSSED IT WITH PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT, YOU KNOW, WHAT ISN'T WORKING IN THE MOU'S, WHAT DO WE NEED TO HAVE, HOW CAN WE ENHANCE IT. IT'S THAT SORT OF A CONVERSATION WE NEED TO HAVE IN ORDER TO SUBMIT VALID COMMENTS.
BP's presentation last night marks the start of public input on the companies plans.
The county is soliciting comments immediately via email to murphyka@laplata.co.us.
The public will also be able to participate in yet to be scheduled public hearings before the county commissioners as well as before the COGCC.
LaPlata County rancher and COGCC board member Tom Compton says he's barred by law from commenting on BP's proposal.
But he was at the meeting last night, and afterwards praised the county MOU process saying it's a better way of protecting local residents and allowing them to have a voice in the process.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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