ALAMOSA Another application to drill for oil and gas in the Del Norte area is moving forward.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Field Manager Andrew Archuleta told members of the Rio Grande Roundtable yesterday that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) had approved with conditions an application for Dan A. Hughes Company to drill in the Frisco Creek area.
The BLM is also working with the company on conditions for its potential approval, Archuleta explained. The BLM owns the mineral rights on the 40-acre parcel in a split estate with Dan A. Hughes, which owns the surface rights.
One of the conditions that may be included is a casing requirement. Archuleta said BLM is in the process of deciding whether it will require a certain amount of casing upfront or let the hole dictate it.
You need to let the hole tell you what to do as you go down, he said.
Roundtable member Charles Spielman, who attended a technical work session recently with the company, BLM and Rio Grande County Commissioners, said he understood the company was willing to case to 1,200 feet. Archuleta said he did not think the company had agreed to that.
Archuleta said he hoped the BLM would have a draft document ready for public review next week. The BLM will then receive comments during a 30-day public comment period. Archuleta said no public meetings were planned, however.
The BLM will take public comments into consideration and look at approving the Dan A. Hughes application. Archuleta said BLM would conduct an environmental assessment.
Rio Grande County Commission Chairman Karla Shriver told the roundtable the Dan A. Hughes matter would be coming to the county for consideration in the future, but it is not yet before the county. The county will have to approve a conditional use permit.
The county recently went through a similar process with First Liberty Energy, which concluded drilling of an exploratory well in the Del Norte area earlier this year.