Antero to begin gas exploration project near Battlement Mesa |

Antero to begin gas exploration project near Battlement Mesa

Antero Resources hopes to begin gas exploration within the Battlement Mesa Planned Unit Development this fall.

According to a statement from the Battlement Mesa Co., Denver-based Antero Resources is filing requests for drilling permits allowing the drilling of two wells from one well pad surface location expected to begin in August.

A public meeting to inform residents of the comprehensive drilling plan (CDP) was held Wednesday night in Battlement Mesa and had hundreds of residents in attendance.

The comprehensive drilling plan, a new process implemented by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), is currently being developed for the area. The CDP process takes into account community concerns and includes consultations with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The preliminary plan calls for the first well pad construction to begin by Aug. 1, and drilling to commence by Aug. 15. Two wells are planned to be drilled at the first well pad in 2009, with drilling and frac operations scheduled for completion in October.

Design Workshop of Aspen, an organization that specializes in urban planning and landscape architecture, was contracted to put together a fully integrated landscape design intended to camouflage the four pads that will be most visible to the community.

Originally, the development plans called for 14 well pads, two of which were occupied by another operator. However, Antero has agreed to lower its operations in the new CDP from 12 pads to 10 well pads. New access roads to well pads, and one covered water handling facility located at the far southeast edge of the Battlement Mesa PUD, are also included in the plan.

Antero hopes to finish its Battlement CDP this fall, and the public meeting held Wednesday night is one of the initial steps in the process.

The objective of the CDP is to thoroughly

consider implications of gas development on the community and to put proactive plans in place to address any potential concerns before they occur.

According to Eric Schmela, president of the Battlement Mesa Co. and developer of the Battlement Mesa Community, they have worked with Antero for 18 months in order to figure out ways to preserve the integrity and attractiveness of the Battlement Mesa lifestyle, while allowing for natural gas exploration in the area.

“The approved plan will create the new standard by which operators will be held when drilling in close proximity to residential communities,” Schmela said.

However, neither Schmela nor Antero have indicated the distance the closest well pads will be to the community.

“Antero spent a tremendous amount of time and resources consulting with various entities and experts to determine the best and most logical ways to develop the natural gas resource underlying Battlement Mesa,” said Antero division landman Bill Pierini. “As a result, this is one of the most comprehensive and collaborative drilling efforts on the Western Slope.”

Citizens with questions regarding the plan can call Antero Resources at (303) 357-7310, or by e-mail at

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