Colorado regulators have approved the first oil and gas “drilling and spacing” request in Douglas County, as well as two dozen others in neighboring Elbert County. The move is the first step in eventually having drilling sites in the suburban area, although the company behind the request, Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, said it has no immediate plans to drill in Douglas and Elbert Counties.
Posted by Ann Rascalli
The company is a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp, based in Oklahoma City and one of the largest natural gas producers in the nation.The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved 25 drilling and spacing units, each of them 640 acres in size, for horizontal wells to be directionally drilled into the Niobrara formation in Douglas County as well as in Elbert County.
24 of the 25 units requested by Chesapeake are clustered in the northwestern corner of Elbert County. The 25th is in northeastern Douglas County, west of Parker and next to E-470. The map shows the potential sites as black boxes.
The Niobrara underground formation, which runs from southeast Wyoming through northern Colorado all the way down into Elbert and Douglas Counties, has been a hotbed of oil and gas activity as companies probe its potential.
While there will certainly be opposition to the COGCC approval by some in the region, a drilling and spacing request is intended to limit the number of wells drilled in a defined area. In this case, Chesapeake asked regulators to limit drilling to one horizontal well, drilled into the Niobrara rock formation, within a 640 acre area, or one square mile.