Oil and Gas Information

Oil & Gas Information

Oil & Gas Facility Regulations

On July 27, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners approved new oil and gas regulations.  The County's revised Oil and Gas Regulation are located in the Development Standards and Regulations manual:

Comments, questions, and feedback regarding these regulations can be submitted to Greg Dean, Oil & Gas Liaison, via email at gdean@adcogov.org or phone at 720.523.6891.

Planned Workover Rig Activity

Workover rigs are mobile rigs used mainly to perform remedial operations such as routine maintenance and plugging and abandonment. This type of equipment is not the same as larger rigs often used to drill new horizontal wellbores. These operations are generally allowed under COGCC and County rules and typically occurs during daylight hours only and for short time durations. An updated list of workover rig activity can be found in the report here. Should you have any questions, please reach out to the County Oil & Gas Liaison via the contact information below. Last updated: 12/16/2021.

Oil & Gas Information

The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) governs the permitting and regulation of oil and gas wells throughout the state. Adams County has limited authority when it comes to the oversight of oil and gas operations within unincorporated areas of the county.

Adams County regularly submits public comments on oil and gas related applications and rulemakings at the State-level and within other municipalities aimed at addressing and mitigating potential land use impacts to public health and safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources. The county has commented on the following proposals since October 2019:

  • City of Aurora: MCC 3-66 25-27 Pad
  • City of Brighton: Prairie LE Pad, Pioneer Produced Water Pipeline
  • City of Commerce City: Condor Pad, Blue Jay Pad, Owl Pad, Falcon Pad
  • COGCC: Flowline Rulemaking, Ivey LC Pad, Gus LD Pad, Freedom 33 Pad (Weld County), Prairie LE Pad, Wellbore Integrity Rulemaking, MCC 3-66 Pad, Mission Change Rulemaking, Conner Pad, Ivey LC Pad Air Monitoring Plan, Financial Assurance Informational Docket, Financial Assurance Rulemaking
  • Air Quality Control Division: Air Quality Monitoring Plans: Extraction Interchange Pad, Northwest A/B Pads, United Pads (Broomfield), Verdad County Line Pad (Weld County), Fraser Pad (Aurora), Crow Pad (AdCo), Kortum LD Pad (AdCo), Gus LD Pad (AdCo)
  • Others: Air Quality Control Commision Rulemaking - Regulation 7

Mineral rights determinations is a complex matter in Colorado because there can be difference between ownership of surface rights and ownership of minerals (oil and gas) beneath a property. SB19-181 has expanded certain mineral owners right's regarding forced pooling and non-consenting party requests. Spacing, pooling, and royalities are all regulated by the COGCC and not Adams County. Additional information regarding mineral rights and forced pooling is available by visiting the COGCC website.  

2021 Oil & Gas Text Amendments

Revised Oil & Gas Regulations were adopted by The Board of County Commissioners on July 27, 2021 and took effect immediately for new oil and gas permit applications.  These new regulations largely do not apply retroactively to existing or already drilled oil and gas facilities, unless an Operator has proposed major changes to the site from what was previously approved.  The new regulations are incorporated into the Adams County Development Standards and Regulations linked above (See Chapters 2 (Permitting Process), 3 (Zone Districts), and 4 (Developement Standards and Setbacks).  Please contact Greg Dean (gdean@adcogov.org) with any questions.  Updated November 29, 2021

Adams County Oil Production & Activity

Adams County Oil & Gas Inspection Program

Pursuant to CRS 34-60-106(15), in 2016, the Adams County Board of County Commissioners entered into an agreement with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to foster a predictable and consistent regulatory framework for industry through the non-exclusive assignment of the Commission’s oil and gas operations inspection function to Adams County. Under this agreement, the inspector position is funded by the county and is inspecting on behalf of both agencies.

Adams County implemented a new oil and gas inspection fee on January 1, 2020, to cover the costs associated with the annual oil and gas inspection program aimed at ensuring compliance with local regulations under new authority to assess local inspection fees granted by SB-181. To learn more about the new oil and gas inspection fee, please read the frequently asked questions. An updated list of recent oil and gas inspections can be found in the Weekly Oil and Gas Activity Report.

The Oil & Gas Inspectors are responsible for field inspections, complaint response, and compliance oversight of state and county regulations. Enforcement of state regulations remains under the purview of the COGCC while enforcement of local land use regulations is carried out by the county.

When on a well pad, the inspector assesses compliance with requirements for:

  • Signs and markers on storage tanks and wellheads, in addition to emergency contact information;
  • Housekeeping items, such as debris, trash, weeds, and storage;
  • Fencing and berming condition, maintenance, type, and location;
  • Noise, odor, and signs of spills such as soil staining;
  • Proper positioning of valves and hatches.
  • Stormwater and sediment controls, along with vehicle tracking and condition of access roads; and
  • Permit-specific conditions of approval.

Traffic Impact Fee Study

The Community and Economic Development Department worked with TischslerBise and Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig, to develop and recommend a traffic impact fee for oil and gas development which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners in a public hearing on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.  

The full report is attached below for your review:

Traffic Impact Study

Orphan Wells

Orphan wells and sites are oil and gas facilities for which no owner or Operator can be found or where an owner is unwilling or unable to maintain responsibility for the compliance and reclamation of the facility.  In those instances those facilities ultimately become wards of the state.  These wells and sites are managed through the state Orphaned Well Program (OWP) which was created in 2017 and expanded by then-Governor Hickenlooper to address these types of facilities.  The COGCC prioritizes the plugging, abandonment, reclamation, and remediation of these sites by classifing them as either High, Medium, or Low priority based on factors such as the age of the well, reportable spills, population density, and environmental risks. These types of wells higher potential to impact public health, safety, welfare, the environment, and wildlife resources in the form of historical spills and releases, leaks of methane, greenhouse gases, or Hazardous Air Pollutants.

As of July 2021 there are 567 orphaned wells or sites in Colorado, 77 in Adams County.  The County currently has the second most orphaned wells or sites in the state behind Logan County (100 sites) and tied with La Plata County (77 sites).  The funding for the OWP comes from a mill levy on hydrocarbons produced in the state and annual budget appropriation from the state legislature.   

Information on the orphaned wells and sites in Adams County can be found here . For the most up-to-date information on the Orphaned Well Program, please visit the COGCC website here. In addition, the COGCC Interactive Map  has a layer showing the location and current status of orphaned wells.  Updated 08/16/2021

Frequently Asked Questions and Information

Contacts

Comments and questions concerning local oil and gas permits and regulations should be sent to the Adams County Oil & Gas Liaison: 

Greg Dean | Email
Oil & Gas Liaison
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.523.6891

For oil and gas leasing, easements, and surface use requests on county-owned property, contact:

Nicci Beauprez | Email
Project Manager - Land & Assets
Facilities & Fleet Management Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.523.6060 | Website 

 

Comments and questions concerning state oil and gas permits and regulations should be sent to:

Melissa M. Housey, Oil & Gas Location Assessment Specialist | Email
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801
Denver, CO 80203
303.894.2100 (ext. 5194)

Complaints

Should you believe you are experiencing non-emergency impacts from noise, light, odor, dust, or mud tracking on roads that may be associated with oil and gas operations please reach out to Keith Huck, Senior Oil & Gas Inspector via the contact information below. Should this impact occur after normal business hours please contact Greg Dean, Oil & Gas Liaison, by e-mail or phone. Additionally, you may file a state complaint regarding noise, light, odor, and dust with the COGCC via their Online Complaint Portal. If you have a health related complaint, you can file such with the CDPHE via their Report Your Concern portal.

Keith Huck Email
Senior Oil & Gas Inspector 
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.766.4175

Greg Dean Email
Oil & Gas Liaison
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.523.6891