Journalist • Photographer

Bobby Magill is a journalist and photographer based in Port Jervis, NY and Alexandria, Va.

Filtering by Tag: Oil

Oil Drilling is Slated For Base Of Pawnee Buttes

I didn't know this when I posted about the Pawnee Buttes on Monday, but Carrizo Oil and Gas has received a permit from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to drill several wells from a pad to be built within about a half mile of the buttes. The drilling and fracking site would be on the right side of the image above, just to the right of the easternmost (righthand) butte. To wit:

Here's an overview of all the wells around the Pawnee Buttes:

Here's the data for the Carrizo well, which you can see permitted above as the red dot inside the green circle just south of the Pawnee Buttes at the south edge of Section 22:

Shot of the Day: Crude Oil

Much is being said lately about the impacts of oil and gas development in Colorado, especially along the Front Range, where the Wattenberg Field sprawls north of Denver and the rush to explore the Niobrara shale for oil is moving ahead at full steam.

Perhaps there is nowhere in Colorado where energy development is more conspicuous than the Dacono and Frederick areas north of Denver in southern Weld County. Oil wells pump crude in the center of neighborhood traffic circles and pumpjacks act as grand gateways to suburban subdivisions.

Fossil fuels are produced in our Front Range communities seemingly as much as gasoline is burned in our Outbacks and XTerras. Residents in the Dacono subdivision above are as much neighbors to oil and they are neighbors to Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks, which rise in the distance.

Anadarko, Noble Energy to transform oil development in Northern Colorado

Last week, I wrote a story (PDF) in the Fort Collins Coloradoan about Anadarko Petroleum's announcement that they plan to drill up to 2,700 new oil wells in the Niobrara and Codell formations in the Wattenberg Field northeast of Denver. Here's the gist of the story:

Anadarko announced Nov. 14 it has plans to drill between 1,200 and 2,700 horizontal oil wells into the Niobrara shale and Codell formation in the Wattenberg Field, with expectations to produce up to 1.5 billion barrels of oil.

The only other oil play of that magnitude was the Rangely Field in northwest Colorado, which began producing oil in the 1940s.

The company has access to hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Weld County and along Larimer County's eastern border. So far, Anadarko's exploration has been limited to 11 horizontal wells drilled in southwest Weld County, which have been producing between 300 and 1,100 barrels of oil per day, according to Anadarko's announcement Monday.

If Anadarko drills the number of wells it's projecting, it will make oil and gas the primary driver of industry in Northern Colorado, said Mark Snead, an energy economist and the vice president of the Denver branch of the Federal Reserve Bank.


Now, Noble Energy, one of the biggest players in developing the Niobrara in northern Weld County, is getting into the act, according to the Denver Business Journal.

Noble plans to invest $8 billion into drilling north of Denver over the next five years — in an area that's already one of the most productive oil fields in Colorado.

I'll be interested to learn how this will affect the Front Range's air and water quality.