Shell reps talk drilling plans with Moffat County officials

In other action ...

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved Department of Social Services accounts payables and electronic transactions for $335,743.

• Approved, 3-0, a $10,519.59 bid from TLC Carpet One for carpet at the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

• Discussed hosting a public hearing to partially vacate Moffat County Road 76.

• Approved, 3-0, appointing Bryan Ludgate to the Moffat County Finance Corporation Board.

• Approved, 3-0, hiring a full-time staff assistant for the Department of Social Services.

If you go ...

What: Shell open house

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40

— The open house is free and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call Gena Hinkemeyer, Shell community relations representative, at 326-6930.

Nabors Rig 94 returned May 10 to Moffat County after spending the winter months in Wyoming.

About a week later, Savanna 650 completed its 23-day, 1,640-mile trek from Waynesburg, Pa., and arrived Sunday in Craig.

What the two rigs have in common is they've both been contracted by Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP to drill exploratory wells in the Niobrara Formation.

Representatives from Shell met with Moffat County officials Tuesday to discuss details of the company’s 2012 drilling schedule, which calls for 11 new wells — nine in Moffat County and two in Routt County.

Although Nabors Industries, Ltd. was a familiar name to most of the county officials attending the meeting, Savanna Energy Services Corp. was not.

In 2011, Shell contracted Nabors Rigs 94 and 111 to drill the Harper Hill and Durham Wells near Hamilton.

This is the first time Shell has contracted with Savanna, said Tommie Criddle, of Shell’s logistics team.

“They’re new to us,” he said. “Whenever we contract with a drilling company we look for consistency in the crews and the bulk of this particular crew has been together since 2008, which tells us they know how to get things done.”

In addition, the Savanna 650 has more power and can drill deeper than Nabors Rig 111, Criddle said.

The rig will be used to drill the Gnat and Dawson Creek wells in Routt County, which are located at a higher elevation.

But before it heads east, Matt Holman, Shell’s Colorado project lead, said the Savanna 650 will be utilized in the Williams Fork Federal Unit located in southeast Moffat County.

Six of Shell’s nine Moffat County wells are slated to be drilled in the Williams Fork Unit, which is roughly contained between Colorado Highway 13 near Hamilton and the Moffat County/Routt County border.

Holman hinted at the “deliberate” pace of the permit process in Routt County when explaining why Shell has dedicated the majority of its resources to the southeast part of the county.

“Shell has decided to focus on southeast Moffat County and we like that,” Holman said.

Nabors Rig 94 and Savanna 650 are currently onsite and drilling, Holman said.

However, unlike last year when Shell drilled four wells in the center of the Williams Fork Unit, Holman said the plan is to spread the wells out and test a variety of geological features.

Local residents will be able to hear further details on Shell’s 2012 drilling schedule during an open house at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40.

Holman said company representatives will outline company policy regarding safety, logistics, and drilling technology in addition to addressing public concerns regarding the hiring of local contractors, fracking, a potential man camp and transportation.

For more information on the open house, call Gena Hinkemeyer, Shell community relations representative, at 326-6930.

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