COGCC approves new rules for operations within floodplains

March 5, 2015

Production fluids leak into surface water September 2013 -- Photo/The Denver Post

Production fluids leak into surface water September 2013 — Photo/The Denver Post


Here’s the release from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Todd Hartman):

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission today [March 2] unanimously approved new rules that outline requirements for operators with facilities located within floodplains.

The new rules implement several of the recommendations contained in the Commission’s “Lessons Learned” report published in March 2014 following the Front Range floods of September 2013.

The nine-member Commission approved regulations designed to better protect oil and gas facilities that may be subject to flooding and that require more preparations from operators to reduce potential impacts. The new rules formalize “best management practices” when operating within a floodplain and require:

  • All tanks, new and existing, be surrounded with hardened berms made of steel instead of earthen barriers.
  • Critical equipment be anchored according to an engineered anchoring plan.
  • The removal of existing pits used for exploration and product waste.
  • All new wells to be configured so operators can shut the well in remotely.
  • “We learned a great deal from our experiences in September of 2013, including what existing practices were successful in reducing damages,” said Matt Lepore, director of the Commission. “Requiring these practices for oil and gas operations within a floodplain makes sense and will ensure environmental impacts are reduced and equipment is further protected should we see another flood event.”

    In addition, the new rules require operators, by April 1, 2016, to establish an inventory of wells and critical equipment located within a floodplain and to register all such wells and equipment with the COGCC. Operators are also required to create a formal plan on how they will respond to a potential flood.

    “These new rules requiring operators to establish an inventory and a formal response plan will help ensure both operators and the COGCC can react more quickly when a flood threatens or strikes,” Lepore said.

    These new rules are effective June 1, 2015 for new wells and equipment and April 1, 2016 for retrofitting of existing equipment.

    The new floodplain rules is the latest of numerous steps undertaken by the COGCC to improve regulation of oil and gas development in Colorado and part of Governor Hickenlooper’s commitment to long-term recovery and resiliency after the 2013 floods.

    Since 2011, the Hickenlooper administration has crafted rules to increase setbacks, reduce nuisance impacts, protect groundwater, cut emissions, disclose hydraulic fracturing chemicals, increase spill reporting and significantly elevate penalties for operators violating Commission rules.

    The Commission has also significantly expanded oversight staff, intensified collaboration with local governments, sponsored ongoing studies to increase understanding of impacts to air and water, streamlined its process for public complaints, increased public access to COGCC data and adopted several formal policies to address health and safety issues brought about by new technologies and increased energy development in Colorado.

    More oil and gas coverage here.


    @USGS: Map of Assessed Continuous (Unconventional) Oil Resources in the U.S., 2014

    March 2, 2015


    What Is Oil And Gas Wastewater And What Do We Do With It? — KUNC

    March 2, 2015

    From KUNC (Stephanie Paige Ogburn):

    When a typical oil well starts producing, there are three main products pumped out: gas, oil, and water. The amount of water is significant. In Colorado, for every barrel of oil produced in 2013, there were 6 barrels of wastewater pumped from the ground.

    How that water — sometimes referred to as produced water — is treated and disposed of has become a growing issue as oil and gas production has increased in Colorado and across the United States.

    Mark Engle, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, is working to pin down just how much of the wastewater is being produced nationwide.

    “Since the big explosion in shale gas and tight oil production in the last four or five years, [there is almost no data on] how much the amount of produced water has changed in the U.S,” Engle said.

    Quantities of wastewater, which can be 10 times saltier than seawater and is often laced with hydrocarbons, have grown because of the shale boom, which requires continual drilling of new wells to be profitable.

    “And so just to have stable production, you have to keep putting more and more and more wells in, and they are all producing water,” said Engle.

    Most of these wells, drilled in shale formations like the Niobrara in Northern Colorado, or the Bakken in North Dakota, are horizontal wells that are hydraulically fractured. To do this, millions of gallons of water, chemicals, and proppants, like sand, are pumped into the ground at high pressure, opening up tiny cracks in the shale.

    The goal of this process is to free up trapped oil and gas. But trapped water flows back as well. Some of that water is what was used in the fracking process, but a lot of it is also ancient water from deep within the Earth.

    That wastewater picks up a lot of chemicals because of where it comes from, said Ken Carlson, an engineering professor at Colorado State University who studies energy and water issues.

    While many folks worry about what’s in fracking fluid, Carlson is more concerned with the naturally occurring pollutants from deep below.

    “Sometimes people think it is hazardous because of what we put down there,” said Carlson. “And the truth is, the water that comes back has been in contact with oil and gas compounds for maybe millions of years.”

    Wastewater is almost always incredibly salty. It also often contains dissolved metals and compounds like benzene, a known carcinogen, said Carlson. In some places, like Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, that wastewater can also be radioactive, as it picks up naturally occurring elements like radium from deep inside the earth. (Waste from Northern Colorado has not been shown to be more radioactive than natural background levels.)

    Because of this, such water is usually disposed of, said Greg Duronlow, the environmental manager of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

    “It is a waste product with some negative characteristics. So it does have to be handled carefully,” said Duronlow.

    When a well is producing, companies separate the products that make them money — oil and gas — from the water. In Colorado, that water is usually stored in on-site tanks or pits that fill up. Later, it gets trucked away.

    There are a few main things that happen to the wastewater after that.

    By far the most common way of dealing with wastewater is disposing of it deep underground, in injection wells. While some energy companies have their own wastewater disposal wells, an injection well industry has also cropped up to meet this need. In the U.S., there are around 30,000 injection wells used to dispose of fluids from oil and gas production.

    Even though wastewater is disposed of deep underground, there are still risks. Recently, some injection wells have been linked to earthquakes. Spills are also an issue. Pipelines carrying wastewater can leak, as can holding pits, and trucks transporting waste can spill it.

    In Colorado, the spill rate for wastewater is very low — over the last 15 years, just 0.009 percent of all wastewater produced was spilled, according to COGCC data. The agency’s oversight over spills has grown in recent years, and it recently made its spill reporting requirements more stringent, requiring spill reports for even one barrel, rather than five.

    “All spills, regardless of their size, are required to be cleaned up by an operator,” said Duronlow. The agency also has tighter restrictions around oil and gas operations that are near public water supply areas, he added.

    “I would say an industry with a spill rate of a thousandth of a percent, they are working pretty hard to keep those numbers low,” Duronlow added.

    While overall, the state does have a very low spill rate, simply because so much wastewater is produced, the total spill quantities can still be high. From 2005 to 2013, spill amounts ranged from 10,000 to 72,000 barrels (420,000 to 3,024,000 gallons) per year.

    In 2008, in Garfield County, a rancher took a drink of water from a tap in his cabin, and swallowed a toxic mix of oil and gas related compounds, landing him in the hospital. The polluted drinking water was contaminated from a produced water holding pit that leaked; the COGCC fined the energy company Williams $432,000.

    Other pits containing produced water have also leaked; Oxy USA also received a COGCC fine for contaminating two springs with produced water from leaking pits.

    Some companies have tried recycling wastewater, re-using it for hydraulic fracturing future wells. In states like Pennsylvania, where disposing of wastewater is expensive, and Texas, where water is scarce, recycling has grown in popularity. Some Colorado companies are also recycling wastewater.

    There are some concerns about this approach. For one, treating the wastewater creates yet another waste stream — the chemicals that were taken out of the water, and are now concentrated. Moving more water around can cause other problems, like increasing the potential for spills as the water is transported and handled.

    Sometimes, wastewater is so dirty that cleaning it up to the standards they need for hydraulic fracturing just isn’t worth the cost. The COGCC is working with some companies on recycling produced water to reuse, but “it takes a lot of work to clean up the water to a point even that they want to use it,” said Duronlow.

    For every new well drilled and the oil it produces, though, there will be wastewater to be dealt with. Getting a handle on that water — whether it is injected or recycled, piped or trucked — will continue to be a significant task.


    Oil And Gas Wastewater Presents A Business Opportunity For One Colorado Company — KUNC

    February 27, 2015

    Deep injection well

    Deep injection well


    From KUNC (Leigh Paterson & Inside Energy):

    In 2013, Colorado and Wyoming produced around 128 million barrels of oil and a little more than 2.4 billion barrels of wastewater combined. North Dakota produced 300 million barrels of oil and nearly 360 million barrels of wastewater in 2013.

    Wastewater disposal is a massive but little-known part of the oil and gas business. According to Boston-based water consulting firm Bluefield Research, the U.S. hydraulic fracturing industry spent over $6 billion in 2014 on water management. For those reasons, Colorado-based T-Rex Oil believes now is the perfect time to get into the business of wastewater disposal.

    T-Rex Oil is looking to operate a wastewater disposal well in Western Nebraska, but may face an uphill battle to get the required permit. NET News Nebraska has reported that the company is facing strong opposition from residents. T-Rex’s application [.pdf] says the proposed project would be the largest operation of its type in the state, accepting upward of 80 truckloads a day of wastewater from Colorado, Wyoming and possibly Nebraska. The brine – a super salty, sometimes chemical-laden fluid – would then be processed on site before being pumped underground.

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are around 144,000 class II wells spread across the country. Most are actually aging oil wells that companies inject with carbon dioxide or other substances to get them to produce more oil, a process known as enhanced oil recovery. Other wells are used to store fossil fuels and about 20 percent are used to dispose of wastewater.

    The wells used for brine disposal is what worries residents of Nebraska’s panhandle, who have concerns about spills, groundwater contamination, and an increased risk of earthquakes.

    “I just have reasonable doubts about the safety,” Jane Grove told NET Nebraska. Her ranch sits near the T-Rex’s well site.

    Spills have been a concern in North Dakota, where on average, more than 2 gallons of wastewater spills per minute. Most spills occur during transportation – the wastewater has to get to the well either by truck or pipeline – or storage tanks can leak.

    Earthquakes are another concern of the residents. Injection wells and oil and gas exploration have been linked to human-caused quakes, also known as “induced seismicity.” In 2014, Oklahoma was found to have had more magnitude 3 or greater quakes than California. Greeley, Colorado had a brush with a human-caused temblor in 2014 as well, where activities at an injection were linked to a magnitude 3.2 shake. Geological activity in the area later tapered off when the well was shut for evaluation and later allowed to start operating again, albeit at lower pressures and volumes.

    To many they are invisible, but injection wells, for now, are vital to the industry because they are the cheapest and most available way to dispose of oil and gas wastewater. As Justin Haigler, president of Black Bison — Wyoming’s largest water services company — notes, “without this water management, oil and gas doesn’t happen.”

    More oil and gas coverage here.


    The state of oil and gas pipeline regulation in Colorado

    February 24, 2015
    DJ Basin Exploration via the Oil and Gas Journal

    DJ Basin Exploration via the Oil and Gas Journal

    From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

    A spill from an underground pipeline northeast of Denver has contaminated soil and possibly groundwater — the latest of at least 13 spills over the past year from oil and gas pipelines that are largely unregulated.

    While none of the recent spills appears unusually large, they highlight a gray area in how Colorado and other states are handling the domestic energy boom.

    The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission receives spill reports but does not regulate or inspect pipelines beyond well pads, COGCC spokesman Todd Hartman said. Federal authorities say they regulate interstate pipelines that transport oil and gas, but this does not cover tens of thousands of miles of production-related pipelines within states.

    The Colorado Public Utilities Commission regulates nonliquid gas lines around the state, PUC pipeline safety chief Joe Molloy said.

    But no government agency regulates the proliferating production and other pipelines that carry natural gas liquids, Molloy said. These can be hazardous, containing ethane, propane and cancer-causing benzene.

    A DCP Midstream operator saw stained surface soil about 7 miles north of Keenesburg on Jan. 30 and reported the spill. DCP has excavated 7 cubic yards of the soil and deployed a contractor to conduct lab tests for benzene and other toxic chemicals and to find the leak.

    DCP officials “don’t have any more information just yet on source or contamination levels or groundwater impacts of the spill near the Tampa Compressor,” corporate spokeswoman Sarah Rasmussen said. “All of that is still being investigated and assessed.”

    Moving oil and gas through pipelines promises safety and environment benefits — an alternative to trains and tanker trucks. For companies, pipelines can be cheaper, depending on fuel costs. In recent years, more trains are hauling crude oil from North Dakota and tar sands from Canada, leading to accidents such as last week’s disasters in Ontario and West Virginia.

    Nationwide, more than 2.6 million miles of underground pipelines carry natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids from producing fields to refineries, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

    But PHMSA officials estimate more than 200,000 miles of “gathering line” pipelines are unregulated in Colorado and other states.

    The federal authorities are considering expanding their purview to regulate and inspect these pipelines, PHMSA spokesman Damon Hill said.

    “We’re here to make sure operators are doing all they can to protect the environment and the safety of the public that may live near these pipelines,” Hill said.

    “There’s a lot of development in the country where pipelines that were once in rural areas are no longer as rural. A lot of homes and businesses are now located near these pipelines. We want to make sure operators are indeed making sure the unregulated pipelines are safe.”

    In recent Colorado legislative sessions, industry officials pushed to bolster companies’ power to condemn private property in order to install more pipelines.

    Yet the impact of pipelines and spills from pipelines remains uncertain.

    The COGCC spill database shows DCP reported 13 spills from its pipelines since February 2014. Most appear relatively minor, due to human error or equipment problems, though toxic material in some cases has contaminated groundwater.

    Among the spills:

    • In January, a DCP trencher hit a pipeline in Weld County, causing a spill, leading to an excavation of 40 cubic yards of contaminated soil.

    • In November, a trencher hit an 8-inch pipeline and the spill contaminated groundwater — within a half mile of two water wells — spreading contamination at levels above the standards. DCP contractors excavated 370 cubic yards of soil and removed 40 barrels of contaminated groundwater.

    • In September, five to 100 barrels of liquids leaked from a 10-inch underground pipeline inside the town of Frederick.

    Colorado regulators have not taken enforcement action in response to any of these spills, according to COGCC records.

    “A spill by itself doesn’t necessarily result in enforcement steps, but failure to report it, contain it and clean it up will,” Hartman said.

    DCP officials pointed out that the COGCC lowered its threshold for reporting spills in 2014.

    “In general, increases in reported releases in 2014 are likely attributable to this substantially lower reporting threshold,” Rasmussen said. For example, she said, DCP reported five spills in 2013 compared with 11 in 2014.

    DCP Midstream operates 4,000 miles of various natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines, Rasmussen said.

    Oil and Gas Accountability Project organizer Josh Jos wick said state regulators must do more to regulate and inspect pipelines.

    “What are the ages of the pipelines that the product is put through now? How well were they put in? Are they being inspected? Was the right material used? The state does not know,” Joswick said.

    “We should not just sit here saying ‘Yeah, you can go wherever you want to go.’ That’s too dangerous. There’s too much potential for really negative impacts if something goes wrong.”

    More oil and gas coverage here.


    “Don’t Frack Denver” asks city leaders to prohibit exploration and production in the city limits

    February 11, 2015
    Denver City Park sunrise

    Denver City Park sunrise

    From TheDenverChannel.com (Alan Gathright, Jennifer Kovaleski):

    A coalition including conservationists and neighborhood activists is asking Denver’s mayor and City Council to block fracking in the city and the river valleys that supply its drinking water.

    The “Don’t Frack Denver” alliance on Tuesday called for elected leaders to impose an immediate moratorium on fracking in the city.

    Opponents want to prevent “fracking wells being sunk into an area where Denver draws nearly 40 percent of its drinking water supply,” Sam Schabacker, regional director of Food & Water Watch, told an afternoon rally outside Denver’s City and County Building.

    He’s talking about the Platte River Basin, a watershed that also “supplies thousands of jobs and an immense about of economic activity for the recreation industry.”

    “Out in northeast Denver, residents that live in communities like Montbello and Green Valley Ranch are faced with the risk of having fracking wells put next to their homes or [where] they send their children to school,” Schabacker said. He asserted that contamination from fracking chemicals could place people at “increased risk of things like cancer, birth defects, lower birth rates.

    Whether local governments can regulate fracking is the subject of debate. A task force appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering how much control local governments should have.

    Hickenlooper, a geologist and the former mayor of Denver, has argued the state should regulate drilling.

    In response to the alliance’s call for a fracking moratorium, Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s spokeswoman Amber Miller issued this statement:

    “Mayor Hancock hears their concerns loud and clear and will continue to work toward a shared goal of preserving our environment and quality of life here in Denver. The Mayor is keeping a keen eye on this issue, and eagerly anticipates the recommendations from the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force before any action would be considered on a municipal level. Understanding the Task Force is working on a responsible balance, the Mayor asks for the community and stakeholders to remain patient and allow a thoughtful process to take place.”

    Backers of the new campaign include nature photographer John Fielder, local affiliates of Food & Water Watch and the Sierra Club, three microbreweries and others.

    At the rally, Fielder expressed concern about potential oil spills and protecting Colorado’s beauty.

    “We want to make sure that they hear us, and hear our voices and that is that South Park is the last place we want to see oil and gas exploration in Colorado,” Fielder said of the high plain where the Platte River flows through Platte County. It’s a popular area for trout fishing and other outdoor recreation.

    The Bureau of Land Management issued this statement about the South Park drilling site:

    “The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office will be conducting a Master Leasing Plan for South Park as part of its upcoming Resource Management Plan revision. The purpose of a Master Leasing Plan is to provide BLM managers a way to strategically plan for oil and gas leasing and development and address potential resource conflicts. The BLM anticipates starting the public planning process this summer, in which public participation plays a vital role. “

    From The Denver Post (Jon Murray):

    Oil and gas representatives Tuesday assailed a campaign to ban new fracking operations in the state capital, with one pro-industry group equating the effort to “declaring war on Denver’s economy.”

    Activists behind “Don’t Frack Denver” countered that they want to ward off the threat of expanded fracking in a city where oil extraction near homes is much less common than in some suburbs.

    The push by environmental and community groups, activists and businesses received no immediate commitment from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock or the City Council.

    It spurred Vital for Colorado, a pro-industry business advocacy group, to issue a blistering statement that referred to the activists as “anti-science extremists.”

    “Groups that peddle fear, instead of facts, are out to hurt Colorado’s economy and out to reduce the tax base that supports our schools, parks and libraries,” said Peter Moore, the group’s board chairman.

    But with fracking operations planned or setting up just outside far northeast Denver, the activists say they’re right to worry. Environmental group Food & Water Watch is coordinating the effort, The Denver Post reported in Tuesday’s print editions.

    A Hancock spokeswoman said he understood the activist coalition’s concerns, but she said he wouldn’t consider backing any local action until a state oil and gas task force looking at regulatory issues publishes its recommendations. Those are due Feb. 27.

    Councilman Chris Herndon, who represents northeast Denver, echoed Hancock’s comments.

    A moratorium also could be in murky legal territory, given recent state court rulings that have overturned other cities’ fracking bans. Those are on appeal.

    The most noticeable fracking in Denver occurs at Denver International Airport, which has 70 active wells leased out to oil and gas companies.

    The activists also asked Hancock and the council to voice opposition to potential fracking leases on federal land in South Park near the headwaters of the South Platte River, a major source of drinking water for the metro area. Those could be years from winning approval, though, since the Bureau of Land Management has hit the pause button while it begins extensive studies that it says will consider environmental safety.

    About three dozen activists Tuesday delivered letters to the mayor’s office and to City Councilwoman Susan Shepherd.

    The signatories included environmental, community and social justice groups, businesses — including two microbreweries concerned about water quality — and nature photographer John Fielder.

    Pro- and anti-fracking forces sparred over science, safety, air quality and water quality.

    Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals to break up underground rocks, releasing oil and gas. The industry says it has been safe for six decades and is subject to intense federal and state regulations that keep it from harming the environment.

    But Rossina Schroeer-Santiago and other residents of Greenwood Valley Ranch, where Hancock lives, have watched oil companies lease ground nearby in Aurora.

    “I want protection from these airborne hazards — not just for myself, but as a mother, for my children and for the other families in the community,” Schroeer-Santiago said. “Don’t frack my community.”

    A spokeswoman for Green Valley Ranch’s developer, Oakwood Homes, told The Post this week that it has no plans for mineral exploration in the neighborhood.

    From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor):

    Colorado’s fracking wars arrived at Denver city hall Tuesday, with a coalition of 25 groups that included some of the standard bearers of the anti-fracking movement in the state delivering a statement calling for Mayor Michael Hancock and the City Council to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing within the city limits.

    “We think it’s just a matter of time before they start fracking in Denver,” Sam Schabacker, the western region director for Food & Water Watch, who’s been working on the fracking issue in Colorado for the last few years, told the Denver Business Journal.

    The Don’t Frack Denver coalition includes photographer John Fielder, Food & Water Watch; Greenpeace, Kids Against Fracking, Mercury Café, MM Local, Mo’ Betta Green Marketplace, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, Rosenberg’s Bagels, Sierra Club – Denver Metro Network, Slow Food Denver; and the WildEarth Guardians.
    And if the coalition is looking for a fight, the chairman of Vital for Colorado, a coalition of more than 35,000 Coloradans, businesses, civic leaders and trade organizations that support the oil and gas industry, says the organization is ready.

    “We cannot let anti-science extremists destroy Denver’s economy over hype and environmental hysteria,” said Peter Moore, a Denver attorney and Vital’s board chairman, noting that fracking has been done in Colorado for decades and fracking fluid has never been discovered in underground water supplies.
    “Groups that peddle fear, instead of facts, are out to hurt Colorado’s economy and out to reduce the tax base that supports our schools, parks and libraries. Extreme environmentalists are declaring war on Denver’s economy and thousands of Coloradans are ready for the fight,” Moore said…

    On the one hand, fracking already has occurred in Denver. Denver International Airport owns 76 oil and gas wells, all of which have been fracked, a spokesman said.

    The 76 wells have generated between $5 million and $7 million a year in revenue for the airport since 2010, money that’s used to pay for airport operations, according to the airport’s figures.

    On the other hand, the group’s concerns Tuesday focused on Green Valley Ranch in northeast Denver, the home of Mayor Michael Hancock.

    No drilling has taken place and no drilling is planned on the Denver side of that community, according to Wendy Aiello, a spokeswoman for the Oakwood Homes developer of the community.
    ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) owns mineral rights near Green Valley Ranch, but they’re on the Aurora side of the Denver-Aurora border.

    “However, we do not have any plans to drill there in 2015,” a company spokeswoman said Tuesday…

    Food & Water Watch, based in Washington, D.C., wants the nation to shift to greener, renewable energy sources, Schabacker said.

    “We think we need to move away from these forms of extreme energy extraction and need to be moving toward renewable energy,” he said.

    “This ‘Don’t Frack Denver’ is asking for a moratorium on fracking in the Denver city limits to protect Denver’s residents, and also asking for Denver to ask the BLM {Bureau of Land Management] to not allow fracking in the water shed,” he said.

    The group wants the BLM to halt plans to explore a master plan for leasing and drilling in the South Park area, a project the federal agency launched in response to environmental groups’ criticisms of previous efforts to explore the area for oil and gas.

    Schabacker said the coalition worries that if the BLM finishes its plan and leases the South Park area for oil and gas operations, and if oil and gas companies drill for oil, then a spill could happen that contaminates the South Platte River, which supplies water to Denver.

    “There will be an accident and spills into Denver’s water supply,” Schabacker said. “The question is what will it cost, and what are the implications for Denver’s residents and businesses who rely on that water.”
    Karen Crummy, spokeswoman for an oil and gas advocacy group called Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy, and Energy Independence, said the new Denver anti-fracking group is “looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “has never found a case where fracking has contaminated groundwater, but this shows what happens when extreme, Washington-D.C. groups come into Colorado: they scare the heck out of people by peddling propaganda to further their agenda,” Crummy said.

    More oil and gas coverage here.


    After Human-Caused Earthquakes, Company Injecting Wastewater Cleared Of Wrongdoing — KUNC

    January 23, 2015
    Deep injection well

    Deep injection well

    From KUNC (Jackie Fortier):

    A company whose oil and gas wastewater injection was linked to earthquakes in Northern Colorado did nothing wrong, according to an investigation by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

    The first earthquake was felt in the Greeley area in late May 2014. Another followed on June 23, triggering an investigation by the COGCC into whether NGL Water Solutions DJ LLC violated its permit. The company was allowed to resume using the disposal well three weeks after the second earthquake, but at lower volumes and lower pressures.

    The investigation cleared NGL of any wrongdoing, and the COGCC also granted their request to boost the amount of wastewater the company can inject into its well to 12,000 barrels per day.

    More oil and gas coverage here.


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