Garfield County OKs drilling hearing delay |

Garfield County OKs drilling hearing delay

Heather McGregor
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Bernie Boettcher photoThe Rifle-Silt-Peach Valley-New Castle (RSPN) Concerned Citizens hosted a meeting at the Silt Fire Station last Thursday to discuss gas drilling in the Silt Mesa area. Peach Valley landowner Donald Chaplin, standing, was among those commenting on the impacts of drilling. Another meeting between Antero Resources and the community is set for Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The Garfield County commissioners agreed Monday to a request from Antero Resources to delay a hearing before state regulators on gas well spacing on Silt Mesa from Feb. 22 until April 4.

Because Garfield County is a party to the hearing, the commissioners needed to agree to the delay in order for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to put off the hearing, according to Rob Willis, COGCC acting hearings manager.

The latest postponement in the hearing process is the third time the matter has been put off as the gas development company negotiates with residents of Silt Mesa and Peach Valley, said Judy Jordan, Garfield County’s oil and gas liaison.

The hearing on increased gas well density held in November was continued to January, followed by a postponement to Feb. 22, Jordan said. Now Antero officials have told Garfield County they would like to put the hearing off until April 4, said Cassie Coleman, assistant county attorney.

Antero was not represented at the county commissioners’ special meeting Monday afternoon, but the delay was endorsed by a Silt Mesa resident and by the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

“We are happy with having more time to meet with Antero,” said Fiona Lloyd of Silt, a member of Rifle-Silt-Peach Valley-New Castle Concerned Citizens. “We met with them last Thursday, and the meetings are going well.”

David Ludlam, executive director of West Slope COGA, said because active negotiations are going on between willing partners, the industry group supports the delay in the process.

“I’m glad to hear things are progressing,” said Commissioner Mike Samson, who made a motion to support Antero’s request to put the hearing off until April 4. The motion passed 3-0.

Fiona Lloyd noted that another public meeting between Antero and local residents is being planned for Wednesday, Feb. 9.

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