Colorado is well-known for its natural resources and history of oil and gas exploration. Like other local governments, Commerce City strives to balance the needs of industry with municipal growth and development. The city's land development code and participation in the state's local government designee program offers a layered approach to protect the interests of the community and the rights of private developers.
In Colorado, oil and gas development is regulated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), a division of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. COGCC manages all below-ground aspects of oil and gas drilling and handles the state permitting process. Permit applications must be submitted to COGCC and approved before any city permits can be issued or any activity occurs on a drilling site.
Learn more about the COGCC regulatory process
The city’s role in regulating oil and gas development involves the surface level activities related to drilling within Commerce City limits. The land development code (LDC) requires any potential well operator to obtain an oil & gas permit and execute an extraction agreement with the city prior to any operations taking place. The LDC also regulates plugging and abandonment of existing well sites in the city.
City oil and gas documents and processes:
Current City Applications (Updated April 26, 2018)
The city has not received any applications for potential oil and gas permits and no applications are currently pending city approval.
Current COGCC Applications
The city has been informed of a number of applications currently pending with the COGCC regarding potential drilling locations in the city. These applications cover different phases of the permitting process.
Map of currently pending applications (updated 4/04)
- Spacing applications are indicated by colored boxes and include a COGCC docket number
- Form 2 and Form 2A applications are marked by green dots with a specific location name
Descriptions of these different application types can be found below, along with information and links about the public comment process for each. To find more information on a specific location or application, we suggest the following steps:
- On the PDF map above, find the docket number (spacing application) and/or location name (Form 2 or Form 2A) for the location in question
- Reference that location on the list of different application types below
- For spacing applications, use the assigned docket number to find the application on the COGCC Hearing Docket
- For Form 2 or Form 2A applications, follow the link with the location name to a specific page with information about the site, including a public comment link..
For a more detailed and complete map of all oil and gas activity in the state, including local application sites, visit the COGCC website.
Drilling and Spacing Unit Order Application (aka spacing application)
Identifies a broad section of land where horizontal drilling could potentially occur and sets a maximum number of wellheads for that section. This application does not allow an operator to start drilling, as further processes are required by the COGCC and by the city.
In recent weeks, the city has been notified of multiple Drilling and Spacing Unit Order Applications for areas at least partially located within Commerce City borders.
More information about specific spacing application sites is available on the COGCC April-May Hearing Docket.
Public comment on these applications is due April 16. Hearings are scheduled from April 30 to May 2.
COGCC Public Hearing Comment Process
Form 2 (aka Application for Permit to Drill or APD)
This application provides information regarding each individual wellbore and its construction. This information typically includes the surface and bottom hole location, the casing and cementing of each wellbore.
The following Form 2 applications for locations within Commerce City limits are currently under review by the COGCC:
- Location Name: Blue Jay, comment deadline passed
- Location Name: Owl, comment deadline passed
- Location Name: Condor, comment deadline passed
- Location Name: Kestral, comment deadline: 5/01
Indicated by green dots on the map of currently pending well locations linked above
This application process determines the specific surface location for well pad sites. The city has been notified of one Form 2a application that has been submitted for a location in Commerce City:
Indicated by a green dot on the map of currently pending well locations linked above
Other Recent Activity
April 18-25, 2018
Extraction Oil & Gas is working to plug and abandon an existing well site south of E. 96th Avenue and west of Tower Road. The rig structure will be in place for three to five days to do this work. The equipment in place may resemble a drilling rig structure, but is being used only to plug and seal the well site.
As part of this process, city regulations require Extraction Oil & Gas to fully restore the site to its previous state once this operation is complete.
Oil & Gas and Your Health (Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)