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State agency honors top natural gas companies

Staff ReportPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado – Four natural gas companies that operate in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties were among six companies honored Wednesday by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.Encana Oil and Gas (USA), Oxy USA WTP, SG Interests and WPX Energy Rocky Mountain were recognized during the Colorado Oil & Gas Association’s annual conference in Denver. This round of awards marks the 16th year the agency has highlighted top operators. “We want to highlight examples of companies that are moving the industry forward and showing exceptional leadership when it comes to protection of the environment, and in working productively with the communities in which they operate,” said COGCC director Matt Lepore. “Operators in Colorado are among the industry’s best, and their work here is setting the pace and the example nationally,” he said.• Encana won the environmental protection and reclamation award for its commitment to using compressed natural gas (CNG) and for its “one touch” reclamation methods aimed at returning drilling pads and roads to pre-development condition.The company has converted 23 percent of its vehicles and half of its drilling rigs to run on CNG. The company also sponsored the conversion of 22 RFTA transit buses and two city of Rifle vehicles to CNG, and supported CNG fueling stations in Grand Junction and Rifle. • SG Interests won the technology award for its use of “LIDAR,” or light detection and ranging remote sensing for analysis, planning and development of oil and gas units. Use of LIDAR provided SG Interests with a tool to optimize setbacks from buildings, streams and wetlands, reduce impact on vegetation and help reduce erosion. • Oxy won the recycling and reuse award for its work dealing with produced gas well water in the Piceance Basin. The program uses pipelines to collect and distribute water, and filters 6,400 to 10,000 barrels per day for use in drilling, completion and fracturing operations.Oxy estimates that 1.6 million barrels have been reused through this program. • WPX Energy Rocky Mountain, formerly part of Williams, won the award for environmental protection through footprint reduction and waste minimization.WPX created a new rig design called a “split rig” to work on steep slopes within a smaller footprint while drilling a 21-well pad.The company was also recognized for a system-wide review to reduce traffic, emissions, dust, spills and noise and use of water. Automated water treatment facilities in Rulison and Parachute and a network of pipelines in the Piceance Basin have reduced truck trips by 95 percent, water handling costs by 60 percent and led to better water recycling. In another project, WPX solidifies and stabilizes its drill cuttings by mixing them with fiber from beetle-killed trees, neutralizing harmful organic contents.


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