Broomfield Approves Extraction’s Updated Drilling Plan

September 11, 2018 GMT

For oil and gas updates


Broomfield announced Monday evening it has approved the latest version of a Comprehensive Drilling Plan, a document that was resubmitted by Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc.

The approved plan addresses issues raised by City and County Manager Charles Ozaki in relation to a previously-withdrawn version of the plan submitted on July 27, according to a Monday letter from Extraction attorney Eric Christ. The approval ends months of back-and-forth between the city and the company that included vocal outcry from residents opposed to Extraction’s plans to drill 84 wells via hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“We are very pleased with the final outcome resulting from the model stakeholder process that we created with Broomfield and the outstanding level of collaboration and engagement that went into the operator agreement and Comprehensive (Drilling) Plan,” Extraction spokesman Brian Cain said. “Through it all, this process has demonstrated that oil and gas companies and municipalities can find common ground when all parties embrace a collaborative approach to understanding and ensuring responsible operations.”


Next steps, in accordance with the operator agreement Broomfield signed with Extraction on Oct. 24, include issuing improvement permits.

Tami Yellico, city director of strategic initiatives, said Broomfield has been approving public and private improvements for the pipeline — mostly sections northwest and west of Interstate 25. Permits are approved administratively by the city’s engineering division.

She expects Broomfield will review more permits for sections of the pipeline that are near the Livingston Pad and travel to the Northwest Pad

Livingston wells would be at the corner of Lowell Boulevard and Sheridan Parkway, near the Northwest Parkway. The Northwest wells are between Huron Street and Sheridan Parkway and south of E-470 and 160th Avenue.

Extraction could start drilling 10 wells at some of the Interchange Pads, which are south of the Northwest Parkway between I-25 and Huron, in late December or early January. Originally Extraction planned to drill that location at the beginning of August. For the most part the schedule outlined in the drilling plan will be followed, Yellico said, but an updated schedule will be made public on the Broomfield website.

After that 13 wells at the Livingston Pad will be drilled, she said, which could come at the end of March.

Extraction ultimately plans to drill 84 wells in Broomfield among six well sites.

The plan approved this week comes on the heels of requests outlined by Ozaki in an Aug. 20 letter. Those requests stemmed from city council and community comments and input on the July 27 plan.


“To ensure rigorous independent analysis of risks associated with Extraction’s operations,” Broomfield will contract with a consultant to complete a risk assessment process, according to the city an county’s website. ” DNV-GL is an experienced, independent, third-party consultant who brings a depth of understanding to assess risks, mitigation practices, and any additional best management practices necessary for community safety,” Broomfield states.

The risk assessment process, the city and county’s website states, will analyze all stages of drilling and completion. If additional mitigation measures are warranted, Broomfield will take action to address them.

“The public process, implementation of the best management practices in the Extraction operator agreement and the (Comprehensive Drilling Plan), with oversight by both Broomfield and the state represents the best course of action for Broomfield within the restrictions of Colorado law,” Ozaki said.

This approval comes after an 18-month process of community input, a Comprehensive Plan Oil and Gas Task Force effort and extensive negotiations with Extraction. Broomfield residents also were vocal in opposition to Extraction’s drilling plans, but the city is limited in how it can react to those concerns and still be in compliance with state regulations.

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that local governments cannot prohibit oil and gas development or prohibit hydraulic fracturing within their jurisdictions.

“The Colorado Supreme Court has held that most regulatory aspects of oil and gas development are preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and beyond the authority of local governments,” a letter on the city’s website states. “To address the deficiencies in state law, Broomfield negotiated an agreement that requires best management practices that better protect public health, safety and the environment than the requirements of state law.”

“Broomfield expects Extraction to comply with all the safety measures incorporated into the operator agreement and the (Comprehensive Drilling Plan),” Ozaki said in his response letter dated Sept. 10.

Any noncompliance — including by contractors and subcontractors — will result in enforcement action that could include revoking the drilling plan, Ozaki said.

In its risk management plan, Extraction “acknowledges its obligation to continually review mitigation activities, revise the risk management plan and conduct safety reviews,” Ozaki wrote.

Cain said the operator agreement with Broomfield contains some of the “most advanced technology and operational best-practices” used anywhere in the United States by an oil and gas developer.

“Since our earliest days, we have sought to partner with communities as we responsibly produce the energy all Coloradans use each day,” Cain said. “Today’s approval once again demonstrates the effectiveness of technological innovation and a spirit of partnership as we continually strive for operational excellence. We believe that this operator agreement can serve as a model in other municipalities for years to come.”

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, or