Colorado weighs new rules for oil, gas drilling near schools

Colorado oil and gas regulators are considering enlarging the mandatory buffer zone between new oil wells and school property.

  • A proposal released by the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission late Wednesday afternoon would require new Oil wells to be at least 1,000 feet (305 meters) from buildings as well as outdoor areas that schools use, such as playgrounds and athletic fields.

Regulators could still allow wells closer if areas outside the buffer zone are deemed to be technically infeasible or economically impractical. School officials could also agree to allow wells within the buffer zone. READ MORE HERE

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will consider the rule at a hearing Dec. 17 and 18.

Hydraulic fracturing is the process of creating small cracks, or fractures, in deep, underground geological formations to liberate oil or natural gas and allow it to flow up the well for capture and use in heating our homes, fueling our cars
and providing the electricity we all use for our televisions, computers and other devices. To fracture the formation, fracturing fluids –
mostly water and sand, with a small percentage of chemical additives – are injected down the well bore into the formation. The fluid, injected under pressure, causes the rock to fracture along weak areas.