3:31pm

Wed August 1, 2012
Environment

More Drilling for Boulder County Open Space

Five new oil and gas wells will be drilled on Boulder County Open Space in the next two weeks because the land’s oil and gas rights were already leased out prior to its purchase by Boulder County.

Encana Oil and Gas Inc. will begin preparing the site, located south of Niwot Road and northeast of Panama Reservoir No. 1, near other existing oil and gas infrastructure as early as today.

Boulder County purchased the land earlier this decade, but Encana held a lease of the 140-acre Wambsganss Open Space area that the county leases to a tenant farmer. Colorado law gives rights to the previous mineral lease agreements even on land currently considered open space.

Permits for drilling the five new wells were approved by Boulder County’s Land Use Department before the moratorium was enacted by the Boulder County Commissioners last February. The moratorium will be in place until February 4 of next year, and will halt any accepting or processing of new drilling applications in unincorporated Boulder County.

Boulder County will receive royalties from the natural gas extracted.