Word of the day: unitization

February 10, 2012

Garfield County, gas well drilling

What a week! My new book, PFC Liberty Stryker came out in kindle edition.

Plus scads of news from the gas patch.

Proving that an Antero community meeting is like the blind men and the elephant, here is yet another interpretation of Wednesday’s meeting.

Official: Antero won’t drill on Silt Mesa this year
But 50 new wells planned south of Colorado River

Fiona Lloyd posted this correction regarding the Cactus Valley unitization at the RSPN Facebook page:  “In Cactus Valley, there could be 65 well PADS (5 per section, 13 sections). Antero could drill 16 wells from ONE pad. That’s over 1000 wells. It’s also in the City of Rifle’s watershed area.”

When it comes to Antero, that Fiona really knows her stuff. I don’t know what we’d do without her.

In a related story, the Thompson Divide Coalition also held a meeting on Wednesday night.

Residents urged to fight Thompson unitization
Former county commissioner Houpt advises opponents of gas drilling

Trési Houpt said, “Don’t lean on the issue of traffic going through your community, because they will find another way.” If her comment was on Facebook I would hit the like button.

All of which is why “unitization” is the word of the day. At the Antero meeting we sat through Kilstrom and Inman and the other guy stumbling through their incomprehensible explanation for federal unitization as though they didn’t really understand it themselves. Which they do, but they don’t want us to understand it. Keepin us dum n happee.

Colson explains unitization in his article above and Fiona explains it in her recent post. Click here for the BLM Handbook. It’s basically an end run around COGCC rules. In particular, on spacing in the Cactus Valley Unit, and a forever and ever lease in the Lake Ridge Unit near Carbondale. The public doesn’t normally get a say in unitization. This is all handled on our behalf by the folks at the BLM.

Speaking of the BLM, here’s some old – hopefully good – news from last week, I didn’t have a chance to post:

BLM to scale back oil shale leasing

It’s important to highlight the good news. Anything that even slows down oil shale development is a small but significant victory. If the astronomical amounts of water resources that will be used up in oil shale production doesn’t scare the crap out of these people I don’t know what will.

Finally, from the Good News/Bad News file:

Report outlines rampant oil and gas drilling violations

The good news is what we’ve known all along is finally coming to light at high levels of government and to the public so they can see what this so-called “clean energy” is all about. Obviously the bad news is the industry is mucking up the environment and endangering their workers’ and the public’s health and safety. I mean this is just a report, nothing is actually being done about it. And it doesn’t even touch on pipelines.

Read Drilling Dysfunction here.

Check out Appendix B (page 25). I call it the hall of shame. Here’s the scorecard for the company names operating locally that I recognized:

Violations: 7
Fines: 0

Violations: 61
Fines 1

Bill Barrett
Violations: 45
Fines: 0

Violations: 63
Fines: 4

Noble Energy
Violations: 32
Fines: 0

And the hall of shame champion is Williams Production with a whopping 98 violations, and 7 fines.

Williams … where have we heard that name before?

Oh now I remember. Williams Production is the company that plans to install two 6-inch water lines along a 4.1 mile section of the proposed Kokopelli II trench between Spruce Creek Road and Beaver Creek Road southwest of Rifle, Colorado, and under the Colorado River.

No worries there, eh?

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