County approves Shell oil well near Hayden

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Oil & gas issues in Routt County

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a drilling permit for the Dawson Creek well for Shell Oil on State Land Board property about four miles southeast of Hayden on Routt County Road 37.

County Planner Chad Phillips said the commissioners made minor modifications to the language of conditions of approval pertaining to surface water and groundwater monitoring before approving the project. The hearing, including presentations, public comment and deliberations by the commissioners, lasted just less than three hours and adjourned before 8:30 p.m.

Shell has said it has no plans to use hydraulic fracturing techniques in drilling the exploratory well. The permit application had been approved by the Planning Commission in late summer 2011 and was tabled by the county commissioners in September 2011 to allow them to write new sets of conditions of approval for oil and gas drilling here.

That process is now complete, save for conditions that would apply to air-quality monitoring.

Peter Patten, a local land planning consultant working for Shell on the project, described the well pad site as being “somewhat remote” in that the distance to the nearest structure is 3,400 feet and the distance to the nearest water well is 4,330 feet. A seasonal stream 810 feet from the well pad site is the nearest water body.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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