oil and gas regulation

State oil and gas regulators adopted new safety rules on Thursday requiring the locations of thousands of underground oil and gas pipelines across Colorado to be published online for the public to see.

The move, regulators say, will help inform residents of industrial operations near their homes and prevent future accidents involving oil and gas equipment.

Richard Dash of Alumina Energy stood in front of a small crowd gathered inside the white, marble hallways of the Colorado Governor’s Residence. This was his chance to pitch oil and gas executives on his company’s thermal storage system to capture energy from renewable or fuel-fired power plants. 

Six months after shouting that new legislative drilling regulations were an existential threat to their industry in Colorado, the state’s oil and gas producers are now whispering a different message to Wall Street:

No big deal.

Half a dozen men in hard hats watched as their drill rig rose more than 100 feet high. On top, an American flag fluttered in the sun. At the work site just east of Interstate 25 in Adams County, the crew was preparing for the start of an unusual job.

Instead of drilling a mile beneath the surface to extract oil, they were about to rip a well out of the ground. In its place, they'd leave cement plugs strong enough to seal the hole for thousands of years.

On its face, you might think a bill to treat wastewater from oil and gas operations would get the support of environmental groups. But you'd be wrong.

The Colorado House passed a major overhaul of oil and gas regulations in a final hearing Friday morning, sending the legislation back to the full Senate one last time to approve amendments.

Lawmakers voted 36-28 to approve Senate Bill 19-181. One House member was absent.

About 100 people gathered outside the Greeley Chamber of Commerce on Friday to protest a bill that could tighten regulations on the oil and gas industry.  

“It’s just kind of sneaky,” Weld County resident Jolene Luster said about the bill. “We don’t understand it and it’s going to affect a lot of people. And we need to make sure that it doesn’t go through.

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Two recent explosions in Colorado have prompted renewed debate about the proximity of oil and gas operations to homes.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, just over a month after a home in Firestone, Colorado exploded, killing two men and severely injuring one woman, another explosion in nearby Mead killed one man and injured three others.

Denton fracking bill sails through Texas Senate

May 5, 2015

The Texas Senate approved a bill this week limited municipal control over oil and gas drilling and prohibiting any city from banning fracking. The Denton ban could eventually fall if the bill is signed by the governor.

The oil and gas boom leaves scars on Colorado land

Apr 6, 2015
RJ Sangosti / Denver Post

Colorado requires oil and gas companies to restore all sites completely to reduce erosion, loosen compacted soil, prevent dust storms, and control invasions of noxious weeds.  But, the state doesn’t set a timetable for getting the job done reports the Denver Post.

The land around about half of the inactive wells has yet to be restored, and 72 percent of these sites have been in process for more than five years.

Unlike many other states, Colorado doesn’t require companies to submit a reclamation plan prior to drilling.

Earthquake lawsuit dismissed by Oklahoma judge

Nov 4, 2014
nesi-ses.org

A Lincoln County district judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming water disposal well operators caused a 2011 earthquake that injured a Prague woman reported Adam Wilmoth for The Oklahoman.

JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

As experts continue to point to injection wells as the reason for increased earthquake activity, regulators in Oklahoma have changed the way permits for these wells are approved according to StateImpact Oklahoma.