COGCC Allows Crestone Peak Drilling Plan Hearing to Proceed Despite Boulder County Lawsuit
Boulder County commissioners on Wednesday expressed dismay at a decision by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to allow a hearing on a proposed drilling project to proceed in spite of an open county lawsuit against the company , Crestone Peak Resources.
“We are very disappointed with the COGCC decision,” Commissioner Elise Jones stated in a news release. “The lawsuit challenges Crestone’s legal rights to land and minerals in the (comprehensive drilling plan) and the COGCC should not consider development when those rights are uncertain.”
Boulder County sued Crestone Peak Resources in September regarding the company’s plans to sink 140 wells in three pads along Colo. 52 north of Erie. An oil commission hearing officer in October postponed a hearing on the plan, which the commission on Wednesday reinstated in a 6-2 vote.
A new hearing date had not been set by Wednesday evening.
Jason Oates, a spokesman for Crestone Peak Resources, said his company is happy that after two years of working on the plan, it will be able to present it to the commission and be heard.
The September lawsuit contends that Crestone Peak Resources’ proposal to put multi-well pads on land with Boulder County conservation easements violates a Colorado law that prohibits parties from injuring or destroying conservation values. The suit also contends that other mineral rights leases prohibit their oil and gas from being pooled into drilling areas as large as the one Crestone plans on draining.
According to the county, any drilling inside Boulder County will have to be approved by the county commission through a special review process.
John Bear: 303-473-1355, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/johnbearwithme