relocate to So. Co. - methane gas drilling? (Canon City, Durango: mineral rights, homes)
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Can anyone contribute to this? I have been in contact with a few realtors and been asked if I would mind seeing property in or around where there is methane gas drilling/pumps. Some sub divisions may have this going on. I'm looking in the southern colorado areas in hopes to find wooded property to relocate. Looking for some wooded acreage. However, unsure of this statement. Would be visiting the areas in three weeks. Can anyone suggest a map source of sub-divisions and perhaps areas of such activity. I imagine it is with acreage of mineral rights. right?
Thanks for your help.
Well, this map may help a little. It shows where the drilling of gas and oil including methane that is allowed. It takes up a good chunk of the western US. Dont know about suburb maps. You can click on the map to increase the size for viewing. The grey area is the allowed drilling.
Coal bed methane drilling is growing like crazy in many areas of southern and western Colorado. Las Animas and La Plata counties in the southern part of the state are big areas, as is Garfield, Mesa, Rio Blanco, and Moffat counties in the western part of Colorado. There is also some drilling in Gunnison and Delta counties.
Coal bed methane drilling is generally shallow drilling with a lot of small wells. Concerns about it center on potential threats to groundwater quality, surface water pollution (some wells produce a lot brackish water), road building, and noise (both from drilling operations and from the compressor stations once production commences).
Another concern is mineral rights. In many cases, the mineral rights were severed from the surface rights to land. In some cases, the mineral rights were reserved by the federal government when land went to patent. The BLM produces maps that show where the federal government still holds partial or whole title to mineral rights. More often than not, most mountain property has some or all of the mineral rights severed.
Of course, in Colorado, like most of the arid west, water rights do not run with the land, either. It is perfectly possible to have a large creek or river running through your property and have no right to use any of that water for any purpose on your property. But, that's a whole 'nother subject.
ILUVNM AND jazzlover - Thank you for your post. This does help understand what is going on. I'll check the web site and share the informative posts. Are most drilling temp or would you say this would be indefinite?
According to the geologists, the natural gas in coal bed methane formations amounts to fairly significant reserves, so the wisdom is that the drilling may be around for awhile. Right now, one of the impediments to more drilling in many areas of the Rocky Mountain West is a lack of pipeline capacity to transport the gas from the region to the big markets in California, the Midwest and East. Currently the price of gas per mcf at the wellhead in much of the Rocky Mountain region is lower than the national average because there isn't enough pipeline capacity to transport what actually is producable. There are several new big pipelines either under construction or in the planning stages. The guys I know who are familiar with the CBM business tell me that when those pipelines come on line, demand (and prices) for CBM gas will significantly increase at the wellhead, and drilling will really accelerate.
Jazzlover said: "...there isn't enough pipeline capacity to transport..."
Seems the issue of mobility is back with us. I spent a career in the business of moving stuff.
At our monthly AAII investment talk at the CO Spgs chapter on 22 May, the topic will be The Future of Energy. I'll bring up this issue and see if the speaker knows which companies may be good investments.
I am not real sure what you are asking but I can tell you we have in my area around Florence, Canon City, Wetmore there are quite a few pumps. They have been there as long as I can remember. Cattle graze around them, people are built not far away. Owners of the land draw an income from the pumps being there.(They don't pump all the time.) Some homes are on natural gas from these areas gotten from their own land. I guess what I am trying to say, it seems there are draw backs and advanages. We have a number of closed coal mines. Am told that these people who come in a put down test wells are trying to hit what they say they know is here somewhere, a large pool of oil but are only hitting seepage. Eastern Colorado has a number of pumps going and on farms and ranches. Altho they do not own the mineral rights they are getting a very good income. The pumps that are electric don't even make any noise. Those down there are so well cared down there does not seem to even be an odor. We do not own mineral rights in much of Colorado. Not sure if any do. Don't quote me on that because I don't know all of Co. But where ever I have lived did not.
The oil production around Florence comes from one of the oldest producing oil fields in the U.S. Electric pumps on those are quiet. Natural gas compressor stations can be a different matter. I recall one near Trinidad in Las Animas County that could be heard from 12 miles away.
Coal bed methane production requires the drilling of many small, shallow wells. The gas is then gathered using small "feeder" pipelines. Then it is usually compressed and fed into large transport pipelines. Literally thousands of these wells are being drilling annually, mostly in Wyoming and Colorado. A CBM well can often be drilled in a few days, frequently using converted water-well drilling rigs--as compared to a multi-story deep well rig that may take months to drill a single well. Of course, those rigs are also very active in the Rocky Mountain West these days, too.
Coalbed methane gas drilling a big problem in Las Animas and Huerfano counties including areas like Walsenburg and Aquilar. The Colo Geological Service studied Coalbed Methane drilling and deterimined that all of the water "produced" from the drilling in the Las Animas And Huerfano County areas is tributary to the rivers and streams in the area--so that water has been taken illegally according to the laws of Colo. Of course the Coalbed Methane companies disagree and are fighting lawsuits.
The oil wells around Canon City and Florence in Fremont County, where I have lived for almost 35 years, are not Coalbed Methane wells. These, and some gas wells around our area, come from regular drilling. Coalbed methane is produced by "frac-ing"--they inject substances, some including toxic substances that almost killed a nurse in Durango last year, into the coal seams to force the methane gas out. There are many serious problems from this including methane seeping out elsewhere, contaminating springs, killing wildlife and even causing water wells to blow up (confirmed and the Colo Oil & Gas commission ordered drilling in the area to cease). So the oil & gas drilling in Fremont County is not comparable to the Coalbed Methane gas drilling in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties as indicated above in a post by Nadine.
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