Broomfield City Council members will ask the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to move upcoming spacing application hearings from Durango to the Denver area.
The decision came Tuesday night after multiple residents voiced concern about applications filed by Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc., that were different from what the company has been promising verbally for months. The applications are set to be heard at a COGCC meeting in Durango in Sept. 11 and 12.
Durango is approximately 350 miles from Broomfield and close to a seven-hour drive.
City and county manager Charles Ozaki had asked COGCC to move the hearing, but after the request was turned down, Broomfield staff felt a letter from council could be more effective.
In the letter, Broomfield council members intend to include a portion saying the Oil and Gas Comprehensive Plan Update Committee should be given time to complete its work. This would not be an official protest to the Extraction applications, and more conversations will be had before the Aug. 28 COGCC protest deadline that would allow the city to challenge six spacing applications from Extraction and one from Crestone Peak Resources, both of which are scheduled for the September hearings in Durango.
“It’s a hardship for interested stakeholders to travel nearly 350 miles to go to this hearing in Durango,” Councilwoman Bette Erickson said. “I’m fully in favor of protesting.”
Mayor Randy Ahrens said he called Extraction when he learned about the Durango location and was told that the company has timelines about which it is concerned.
One worry is that Crestone or another operator might “jump in front of them,” Ahrens said.
He and other council members pointed out that Extraction has shown a willingness to work with Broomfield, but council agreed that the next step should be the task force presenting its recommendations, and not COGCC hearings.
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