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Broomfield Sues COGCC Over Crestone Peak Resources Drilling Application

October 11, 2018

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More than two months after the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved two spacing applications filed by Crestone Peak Resources, Broomfield officials have filed a lawsuit seeking a review of the decision .

On Oct. 2, Broomfield filed a complaint in Denver District Court against the commission over its July 31 approval of the Crestone spacing unit for the Goltl Pads.

Before the July approval, a hearing officer ruled there would be no formal discovery and struck down several of the city’s exhibits saying they were irrelevant because they addressed health, safety, welfare and environmental concerns.

In early June, Crestone filed the application seeking approval of a drilling and spacing unit to drill up to 44 horizontal wells in Broomfield, which the city protested.

The Goltl Pads are east of Interstate 25, approximately a mile north of East 168th Avenue and a quarter-mile west of County Road 11.

The use by special review application, filed by Crestone on Feb. 23, for the Goltl Pads is still pending in the Planning Division, said Tami Yellico, Broomfield’s director of strategic initiatives.

The surface area proposed for those pads in the use by special review application is a half-mile east of I-25 and approximately a mile south of County Road 6.

On Aug. 28, the commission issued written decisions approving Crestone’s drilling and spacing unit application and its application for increased density.

Crestone later amended the spacing unit application to seek only one well and filed a corresponding increased density application, seeking an additional 40 wells. Crestone later reduced the total number of wells to 32.

A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rule that was in effect at the time Crestone filed its spacing application called for one well per spacing unit application — a rarely-used practice municipalities have challenged the commission over in the past when oil and gas companies included more wells in those spacing applications.

Since then the state Legislature has overturned that requirement.

In its complaint, Broomfield claims the commission “exceeded its authority, abused its discretion and denied Broomfield’s administrative, statutory and due process rights.”

It also claims the commission’s failure to consider public health, safety, welfare and the environment was “arbitrary, capricious” and not in compliance with state law.

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, riosj@broomfieldenterprise.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios

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