Ursa will not drill on Silt Mesa in 2013

The latest news from Ursa is they will not be drilling inside the Battlement Mesa PUD in 2013. However, same as Silt, there will be drilling in the area around the small community. But if you read the article in the Post Independent this morning (3/9) you might be scratching your heads about Silt Mesa.

Ursa: No drilling in Battlement Mesa in 2013

… Simpson was unable to say much about the prospects of drilling in the Silt Mesa area north of the Town of Silt.”I don’t know,” he said, replying to a reporter’s question.

“It’s going to be kind of split between Silt Mesa and Battlement. It may be about half and half. It’s all based on results [from exploratory wells]. We’ll see what kind of results we get and go from there.”

At the meeting on Wednesday night (3/6) in Silt, Don Simpson (Ursa’s VP Business Development) had said they would not be drilling on Silt Mesa in 2013. Despite what the article says, Simpson confirmed this morning (3/9) in an email to Fiona Lloyd (RSPN Alliance) that Ursa will not be drilling north of the river this year: “Only on the south side of Silt in 2013.”

Are you confused yet? If you’re not, then you aren’t paying attention.

In the past two weeks Simpson and other Ursa team members have attended five public meetings from Carbondale to Silt to Rifle to Parachute. I was only able to attend two of those meetings and I have to confess to a certain amount of confusion. But I’m working through it.

For example, at the Wednesday (3/6) Ursa meeting in Silt I asked for a clarification on the “50 or so workovers.” At that meeting and at the February 25 SiltBOTs meeting Ursa’s Don Simpson said the company would be performing “50 or so workovers of existing wells primarily in the Silt area.” That’s how it’s listed in the company’s PowerPoint presentation.

During the public comments at the SiltBOTs meeting (2/25) I had asked Ursa’s Don Simpson and Jeff Powers if the recent activities on Silt Mesa at the Diemoz Pad, Fenno Pad, Three Siblings, and Peach Valley at the Maeves Pad were part of the those workovers. I thought Simpson had said they were. At Wednesday’s meeting Simpson insisted he had told me they were not part of those workovers. So I went back to the video replay of the SiltBOTs meeting. What Simpson said was, “I don’t know.”

Click here to view the Ursa presentation at the February 25 SiltBOTs meeting. The video is about 33 minutes. The discussion begins at around the 11-minute mark.

Talk about confusion! My mistake. I totally misunderstood.

Therefore from the February 25 meeting to the March 6 meeting the “I don’t know” has changed to those four wells are not part of the 50 or so workovers.

During board comments Mayor Dave asked what a workover is. Simpson explained that a workover rig is done on an existing vertical well and “in this case there is a zone that Antero completed and they’re producing from. We’re going to come uphole and try to complete an upper sand in that same formation. With a workover rig it’s a smaller rig.”

That means the “50 or so workovers” will be refracs (sometimes workovers are not refracs).

So what’s the deal with the recent activity on those three pads on Silt Mesa and the one in Peach Valley?

Back to the March 6 meeting in Silt. It was hard to hear because they didn’t have a sound system. I think the work they were doing on those well pads was maintenance required by the COGCC on shut in wells. But I could be wrong about that because I don’t remember anyone from Ursa specifically saying that’s what they were doing, or whether they are done with all that now, or whether there will be more flaring on Silt Mesa or Peach Valley in the foreseeable future.

Another concern of residents is whether they will be putting in pipelines on Silt Mesa. In answer to that (on March 6), Simpson said it depends on production. Since he also said they won’t be drilling on Silt Mesa in 2013, I’m not sure whether we should infer from that they won’t be putting in pipelines on Silt Mesa in 2013. I’m going to go with I don’t know what that means. There are no pipelines currently on Silt Mesa or Peach Valley.

So that’s all I have regarding Silt Mesa at the moment.

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One Comment on “Ursa will not drill on Silt Mesa in 2013”

  1. richard schwabe Says:

    Peggy, With the 50 or so workovers, All the frac produced water will most likely be disposed in the Valley Farms D3 injection well. The venting from all those tanker trucks is sure going to smell good around here this summer. How come they can dispose all that toxic shit right under us? You would think they haul it to the desert or were no people live. Keep up the good work. R s

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