Residents of Routt County in northern Colorado – an area not known for its oil and gas development — are gearing up for a major natural gas boom in the Niobrara Shale Formation. Activists are seeking guidance from more heavily drilled parts of the state as Shell and other companies eye gas extraction in the scenic Yampa River Valley.
Posts Tagged Routt County
The Foidel Creek Mine in Routt County is one of Colorado’s most productive coal mines, churning out more than a quarter of all the coal mined in the state. But it’s also one of the state’s most dangerous mines, accounting for nearly a third of Colorado’s coal-mining injuries in 2009.
A study being conducted by the Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) shows the very real potential for groundwater contamination by coal-bed methane production in the Sand Wash Basin area of Moffat County, according to the Craig Daily Press.
Some water experts warn the upper Colorado River is an endangered species if current residential growth patterns and water consumption patterns continue along the state’s Front Range, and they’re increasingly concerned proposed energy production on the Western Slope will accelerate its demise.
“I hope America can’t come here and trash out my country here to support the current [oil shale] industry,” said one Routt County commissioner.
Towns and counties along the Yampa River in rural Northwest Colorado are starting to gird for battle against mighty Shell Oil, which in December filed a claim on the Yampa for enough water to fill a proposed reservoir for future oil shale production.