News & Announcements

City re-enters negotiations after public comment on oil and gas operator agreement

Post Date:09/03/2019 2:44 PM
After reviewing public feedback received during a 21-day comment period held in July, the city is back at the negotiating table to work on revising a draft Regional Operator Agreement (ROA) with Extraction Oil & Gas, LLC. The city received a total of 384 comment submissions during the public comment period, which was open between July 9 and 29. The city analyzed specific feedback as it pertains to the agreement with Extraction to determine areas for potential improvements.

The city is now negotiating with Extraction on these revisions to the ROA. Following negotiations, the city’s next steps could be to approve the ROA, re-open the agreement for more public comment, or reject the ROA in favor of a different course of action, depending on the extent of the changes and updates. Approval of the ROA would not provide Extraction with vested rights or approval for drilling.

The ROA sets broad requirements for the city and Extraction in the operation of Extraction’s eight proposed well pad sites in the city, but does not approve those well sites. The ROA includes Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to address health, safety, quality of life, and environmental concerns. The BMPs cover categories such as air and water quality, noise, traffic reduction, inspections, emergency management, and many other topics. The city’s priorities throughout the process have been to minimize impacts and maximize protections for the community while considering property rights.

If an ROA is approved, a series of other permitting processes must occur before any new activity could begin in the city. These processes would likely take until sometime in 2020 to complete and include rezoning, obtaining city oil and gas permits, obtaining conditional use permits for pipelines, and the state permitting process.

To review the draft ROA, see all written comments submitted during the comment period, or learn more about oil and gas in Commerce City, visit the Oil & Gas Operations page.

From late August into early September, McCartney Engineering, LLC is working to plug and abandon four existing wells just east of the Reunion neighborhood. Residents may notice activity on either side of Tower Road between E. 104th and E. 112th Avenues as this work is being completed. The equipment being used may look like a drilling rig, but is actually in place to cap the existing wells and help remove associated equipment. City regulations require the operator to fully restore the site to its previous state with re-seeding and other reclamation efforts.
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