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Voters in three Colorado cities ban hydraulic fracturing for five years

On November 5, 2013, Colorado voters in Boulder, Fort Collins and Lafayette agreed to ban hydraulic fracturing within their communities for the next five years while, in Broomfield, a close vote to allow hydraulic fracturing (a difference of 13 votes) is being re-counted. In Boulder, 77% of the voters agreed to extend a one-year moratorium for five more years. In Fort Collins and Lafayette, the anti-fracking votes were 55% and 60% respectively. The voters may have been influenced by September’s devastating floods during which there was grave concern about contamination from escaped fracking wastewater.

  • Broomfield – Prohibits the
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Colorado Supreme Court asked to review Appeals Court decision overturning Lone Pine order

On August 29, 2013, the oil and gas company defendants (Antero Resources Corporation, Antero Piceance Corporation, Frontier Drilling LLC, and Calfrac Well Services Corporation) in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corporation, et al, 12CA1251, ___ P.3d ___, 2013 WL 3427901, 2013 COA 106, filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Colorado Supreme Court requesting review of the Court of Appeals decision which overturned a Lone Pine Order issued by the trial court. See previous blog entitled “Lone Pine order overturned by intermediate Appellate Court in Colorado fracking lawsuit,” dated July 10, 2013. The companies argue that the Court of … Continue Reading

Lone Pine order overturned by intermediate Appellate Court in Colorado fracking lawsuit

On July 3, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals (Case No. 2013 COA 106) overturned a Lone Pine order and a dismissal order issued by the lower court in the case of Strudley v. Antero Resources Corporation, Antero Resources Piceance Corporation, Calfrac Well Services, and Frontier Drilling LLC (Case No. 2011-cv-2218, Denver County District Court), remanding the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.

The Strudley family filed their lawsuit in March 2011, complaining that defendants’ natural gas well activities, including hydraulic fracturing, had contaminated their water supply. The Lone Pine order issued by the court required the … Continue Reading

Colorado Requires Testing Near Fracked Wells

On January 7, 2013, Colorado’s Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approved new groundwater protection rules.

Operators must sample all available water sources (to a maximum of four) located within one-half mile of the drilling site, both before and after drilling activities. There must be one pre-drilling sample and two subsequent samples (one within 6 to 12 months and a second within 60 to 72 months) following completion of the well. The pre-drilling sample must be tested for a full suite of analytes to provide a baseline, while the subsequent samples need only be tested for specific oil and gas … Continue Reading

Survey of Flaring Regs for Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming

Survey of Flaring Regs for Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and WyomingNatural gas production is booming in the United States.

Operators, aided by advances in hydraulic fracturing, have ramped up production, whether by reworking old oil wells or exploiting new formations altogether.
However, just because an operator has the ability to produce natural gas does not necessarily mean that it can sell the gas; compressors, pipelines, treatment plants, and other infrastructure must be prepared in order to get the gas to market.

In some cases, this lack of infrastructure has led operators to vent or flare gas at the wellhead.

In order to get a better understanding of where the law … Continue Reading

Colorado Governor Creates Hydraulic Fracking Task Force

On February 29, 2012, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper issued an executive order on the intersection between state and local regulations concerning oil and gas development.

This executive order was, among other reasons, executed “in large part due to horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing that together are launching new shale oil and gas plays in counties and municipalities.”

Under the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) has broad authority to promulgate regulations concerning oil and gas development.

Counties and municipalities, on the other hand, when regulating the use of land within their … Continue Reading

Texas Railroad Commission Adopts Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Rule, Effective February 1, 2012

On December 13, 2011, the Railroad Commission of Texas adopted the Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Rule, pursuant to HB 3328 passed by the Texas Legislature in June 2011.[1]

Although the Legislature required the regulations to be adopted by July 1, 2013, the Railroad Commission issued proposed regulations and approved the Rule in less than six months.[2]

The adopted Rule requires operators to disclose chemical ingredients—with exemptions for trade secrets—and water volumes used in hydraulic fracturing activities in Texas.[3] It will apply to all wells for which the Railroad Commission issues an initial drilling permit on or after February 1, 2012.[4]… Continue Reading