Scoping meetings set for Rifle and Golden May 3 and May 4
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — ExxonMobil wants to build roads, well pads, ponds, powerlines, pits, monitoring wells, storage tanks and other facilities as part of an oil shale research and development lease on the Piceance Plateau in northwestern Colorado. Click here to read the whole plan.
That lease along, with a similar one for Natural Soda Holdings, Inc. were up for public comment at a series of late-April meetings in Meeker and Rifle last week.
Separate Bureau of Land Management scoping meetings on on an Oil Shale and Tar Sands Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the region are set for May 3 and May 4 in Rifle and Golden.
The May 3 Rifle meeting is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College. A Front Range scoping meeting is set for May 4 in Golden )1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at the Denver West Marriott Hotel.
The “fresh look” scoping meetings are part of the BLM’s efforts to revisit leases that were previously issued under the Bush administration. All the documents related to the research and development leases and the programmatic EIS are online at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo/Oil_Shale_-_Round_2.html.
ExxonMobil’s proposed operations plan says only “moderate” road-building would be required because of an existing road network in the area. The company estimates that the total surface disturbance from the research and development operation won’t exceed 50 acres at any given time. Here’s an excerpt from the plan, describing appraisal and groundwater monitoring wells:
Initially, surface disturbance will occur with drilling appraisal and groundwater monitoring wells, roads, and other infrastructure (i.e., field office). The appraisal wells will be drilled from the surface to the base of the Green River Formation. Continuous coring will be done in each well from the top of the Parachute Creek member to the base of the Green River Formation. Wells will be wireline logged over their entire depth. The purpose of the appraisal wells is to provide local confirmation of locations of geologic markers and provide core for evaluating the richness and mineral composition of the oil shale.
It is anticipated that the appraisal and groundwater monitoring wellpads will be up to 0.5 acre in size, including mud pits. Small tests may be conducted in the appraisal wells and/or groundwater monitoring wells, to determine minimum in situ stress direction. The appraisal wells are planned to be abandoned or converted to groundwater monitoring wells. Wellpads around abandoned appraisal wells will be restored per the surface reclamation plan. Groundwater monitoring wellpads will be restored per the surface reclamation plan, leaving a 30-foot radius around each well for monitoring access, adjacent to an access road. The access road and small access wellpad will be maintained for each groundwater monitoring well to ensure access for periodic sampling and monitoring of groundwater, and maintenance, as needed. To support maintenance, the associated wellpad may be temporarily enlarged, but restored per the surface reclamation plan, leaving a 30-foot radius around each well for monitoring access, adjacent to an access road.
Phase II includes drilling and subsurface work. Here’s a description:
Phase II drilling and subsurface work will include installation of monitoring wells, production wells, and associated production header, with pipeline to transport the produced fluids to the production facility. In addition, equipment may be installed to provide artificial lift in production wells, along with production pumps/compressors, as needed to deliver produced fluids to the production facility. Electric motor-driven equipment will be considered, when feasible, for noise mitigation purposes. If engine- driven equipment is used, noise controls will be employed to maintain allowable noise limits at the lease boundary. The same pad prepared for Phase I drilling will be used to support Phase II drilling and subsurface construction, including mud pits.
Oil and gas produced from heating of the kerogen by the ElectrofracsTM will migrate to the production wells, where they will be collected and piped to the production facilities for testing, processing, or disposal. Figure 3-8 shows a generic layout of the construction holes, production wells, and monitoring holes.
Filed under: air quality, biodiversity, BP Gulf oil spill, business, Colorado, economy, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling Tagged: | BLM, Bureau of Land management, energy, Environment, ExxonMobil, Green River Formation, Meeker, oil shale, Rifle, Summit County News