Even as one oil and gas company, Antero, railed against community activists with the audacity to push for responsible drilling practices in and around communities, rivers and streams, two other companies self-reported possible water well contaminations related to drilling.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel over the weekend reported both EnCana and the Bill Barrett Corp. informed the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) that methane possibly related to drilling was found in domestic wells near West Divide Creek south of Silt.
That creek was the site of a 2004 seep that resulted in a COGCC fine of more than $370,000 levied against EnCana, and it continues to be a source of controversy in gas-rich Garfield County, where residential development butts up against ongoing drilling activity.
Denver-based Antero Resources, for instance, is seeking to drill up to 200 new wells in the Battlement Mesa community of 5,000, where grassroots activist groups like the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance and Battlement Concerned Citizens are fighting for best practices in such close proximity to area homes.
That level of activism prompted a letter from Antero president and CEO Paul Rady, who wrote mineral rights owners urging them to lobby the Garfield County commissioners ahead of their special-use permit review of the Battlement Mesa proposal.
The letter, according to the Sentinel, led to a press release from the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance questioning Rady’s tactics.