The DJ/Niobrara Basin| November 2020
Located mainly in the Northeast of Colorado, the Denver-Julesburg Basin consists of five main oil-producing formations: Niobrara sections A-C, Codell, and Greenhorn. These five plays produce over 90% of Colorado’s oil/gas.
State Drilling Statistics (End of November)
Active Drilling Rigs in Basin- 4
Total Rigs in Colorado- 5
Total Rigs in United States- 320
Total U.S. Rigs down 60% YTD
State Top Producers
Top Gas Producer- Kinder Morgan CO2 Co LP
Top Oil Producer- Kerr McGee Oil & Gas Onshore LP
COGCC Regulatory Changes
Many changes have occured within the regulatory space since Senate Bill 181 was signed into law in April of 2019. New directors for the COGCC were instated with the primary objective of regulating the industry, rather than fostering it. Late November marked the implementation of a new 2,000 foot setback from homes and schools that the industry attempted to fight for several months. The debate between regulators and operators, along with COVID, prevented this from being finished by the end of summer. The setback distance used to be 500 feet, and an operator applying for a permit to drill closer than 2,000 feet should be prepared to have it denied. Other rules included wildlife protection by minimizing operations in migration corridors, critical habitats, wetlands, and watersheds. Thankfully, the COGCC improved the application process, making it more streamlined. Even so, disputes over a location may require a company to provide an alternative site analysis in order to provide a potential substitute. In coming months, the commission is expected to address rules around well bonding & cleanup and worker safety.
Boulder & Extraction Standoff
The current director of the BLM, William Pendley, has been accused of unrightfully holding his position. The Governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, and the state’s Department of Natural Resources had sued Pendley claiming that his position was not approved by the senate, therefore he has no right to have made the decisions he has made since holding the director position. Regardless, Pendley is still at the wheel, whether or not he is simply an “acting” director of the BLM. What does this mean for Colorado? Well, a lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club along with other environmental groups seeks to reverse lease sales across 1.7 million acres of public lands in Colorado. The group has also identified a list of at least 30 land management plans or other actions on federal lands they will seek to overturn after the Pendley decision.
Top Gas Producers (2020 cum)
Top Oil Producers (2020 cum)
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