Antero to hold meetings in Silt, Battlement Mesa |

Antero to hold meetings in Silt, Battlement Mesa

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – Antero Resources, one of the companies drilling for natural gas and oil in Garfield County, will be holding meetings at Battlement Mesa and in Silt next week to talk about the company’s drilling plans.

Some Silt Mesa residents are not happy that they did not hear about the Silt meeting until Thursday night, at a meeting of the Garfield County Energy Advisory Board (EAB).

Antero has plans to drill up to 200 wells, from nine different well pads, in Battlement Mesa, and an unknown number of wells in the Silt Mesa area north of the town of Silt.

But the company apparently neglected to tell the residents of Silt Mesa about the Feb. 8 meeting, and there was no Antero representative at the EAB meeting to answer questions.

Attempts to reach Antero officials on Friday were not successful.

“I thought it was pretty dirty of them to not let us know,” said Sandy Pickard, a member of the Rifle/Silt Mesa/Peach Valley community group, known as RSMP. In 2011, the group opposed Antero’s application for increased well density in the area.

Antero had applied for permits to drill one well per 10 acres, up from the current density of one well per 40 acres.

The company later pulled its application while it reviewed information gathered from five exploratory wells drilled in the area in 2010 and 2011, but not before the RSMP group rose up in anger about the drilling plans.

To calm the rising political storm, the Garfield County commissioners directed Antero to sit down and negotiate with the group, and the company agreed it would meet with the neighbors on an annual basis to talk about future plans.

RSMP organizer Fiona Lloyd said there had been no word recently about any upcoming meeting.

At a meeting of the county’s Energy Advisory Board on Thursday, Lloyd asked Garfield County Oil and Gas Liaison Kirby Wynn if he knew anything about Antero’s plans for a meeting.

Wynn said that he had been told Antero had set up meetings in Battlement Mesa and Silt Mesa next week, and residents of Battlement Mesa indicated they had been told about the Battlement Mesa meeting weeks ago.

“The town of Silt was completely taken by surprise,” Lloyd said on Friday, noting that town officials had no idea the meeting was scheduled.

“It’s a complete lack of communication, which shows that they’ve learned nothing from what went on before,” Lloyd added.

“All of those people have all of our contact information,” said Pickard, referring to Antero officials who took part in the talks with RSPN last year.

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