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Shell’s been testing the waters

Carrie Click

RIFLE – A community representative for Shell Exploration & Production solved the mystery about who has been calling Rifle area residents asking their opinions about the oil and gas industry. Jill Davis confirmed by telephone on Monday that Shell hired Information Research, a survey company from Denver, to contact residents in the region as part of the company’s interest in learning what local people think about the oil and gas industry. Shell is seeking public opinion because of long-range plans to possibly begin a technologically advanced oil shale development on land the company owns in the Piceance Basin in Rio Blanco County, between Rangely, Rifle and Meeker. But plans are still far off. Davis said field testing isn’t scheduled for completion until 2008, and that Shell won’t even reach a decision on whether to develop the property until 2012. No activity would occur until sometime after the year 2020. In the meantime, public surveys are part of the process.”We care about what people are thinking,” said Davis. “It’s part of the way Shell does business. We consider people our stakeholders – whether they’re for us or against us.” For last week’s survey, Information Research employees telephoned and were able to locate 12 survey subjects – six in favor of the oil and gas industry and six opposed. The group was also divided equally between men and women. All participants attended a meeting last Thursday at the Rifle Fire Protection District station to voice their support or concerns, and each received $60. Coincidentally, a Garfield County Energy Advisory Board meeting was held the same night at the Rifle Senior Center in Rifle featuring Colorado Rep. Kathleen Curry and draft legislation regarding surface-use compensation as it relates to oil and gas industry activities. Davis said that it was unfortunate both meetings were on the same night.”Shell was behind a split-estate bill that just passed in Wyoming,” Davis said. Contact Carrie Click: 625-3245, ext. 101cclick@postindependent.comGive Shell your opinionJill Davis of Shell Exploration & Production is looking at developing in situ (in the ground) oil shale exploration at its Piceance Basin property, but not until the year 2020 if at all. Shell is looking for citizens’ feedback – both positive and negative – about the oil and gas industry. Contact Shell at (866) 222-8200, mahoganyproject@shellcom. For more information on Shell, go to http://www.shell.com.


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