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For decades, Royal Dutch Shell – Europe’s largest energy company – has been known in Colorado as the king of oil shale research, spending an estimated $200 million on an experimental and controversial extraction process that has yet to be proven commercially viable. But Shell and its American subsidiaries have increasingly been moving into natural gas drilling in the United States, including a well permit pulled in southern Colorado that has touched off a firestorm of debate over state versus local control of drilling operations and just how much public input should be allowed.
The hot topic of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) emissions associated with natural gas drilling on Colorado’s Western Slope is expected to get a full airing at the monthly meeting of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) today and tomorrow in Broomfield.
A U.S. Geological Survey scientist Friday said large earthquakes in unusual places like Virginia and southern Colorado earlier this week aren’t typically associated with the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing.
Monday’s 5.3-magnitude earthquake southwest of Trinidad in southern Colorado is being called rare but “consistent with the region and historic activity in the area,” and so far no official connection is being made to gas drilling -- or hydraulic fracturing -- of relatively shallow coal-bed methane gas reserves in the area.
The two Colorado lawmakers leading the charge to clean up the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, were pleased by a federal advisory panel’s findings Thursday urging greater transparency and disclosure of the chemicals used in the process. But both warned much more needs to be done.
Coming up with a definition of diesel fuel seems like a fairly straightforward task, but in the world of natural gas drilling and the process of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – nothing ever comes easy. Senior Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette on Monday joined fellow Democrats Henry Waxman, Edward Markey and Rush Holt in asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to write a much broader definition of diesel fuel than the industry seems willing to accept.
Western Slope oil and gas watchdog groups this week questioned whether the new board members appointed to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) last week by Gov. John Hickenlooper will lean too heavily toward industry and Front Range concerns.
Gov. John Hickenlooper today dismissed the fears of activists and community members concerned that the natural gas drilling process of hydraulic fracturing can contaminate groundwater supplies, but he conceded the state should require the industry to disclose chemicals used in the “fracking” process.
Denver-based Antero Resources, the company revealed to be disposing of oil and gas drilling waste to Eagle County in a Colorado Independent exclusive earlier this month, is now being hit with more legal action stemming from its natural gas drilling activities in neighboring Garfield County.
Hydraulic fracturing itself may not directly contaminate groundwater supplies, as the oil and gas industry has steadfastly maintained for years, but the wastewater associated with the controversial process can be very hazardous to forest life, at least according to a new study produced by a U.S. Forest Service researcher.