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Associated PressAssociated PressFebruary 18, 20182min197

Oil production continues to increase in Colorado as energy companies respond to a recent rebound in crude prices, according to U.S. government data.

The Energy Information Administration says drillers in the Niobrara region that includes much of northern Colorado will produce 580,000 barrels daily in March. That’s a 6 percent increase over February’s expected production.

Oil prices have risen sharply since last summer’s low of $43 a barrel, to over $60 a barrel in recent weeks.

Gas production also is expected to increase in the Niobrara in March, according to the energy agency.

The Niobrara includes portions of neighboring states, but the energy patch’s sweet spot is in Colorado’s Weld County, which has almost 24,000 active oil and gas wells.

Amid the industry’s resurgence, the number of drill rigs working in the state has remained relatively flat.

“Rigs are only one part of the picture,” Bernadette Johnson, vice president of Market Intelligence at DrillingInfo in Littleton, told Colorado Public Radio . “What matters more is how quickly those rigs can drill wells, and how big those wells are.”

Operators also are drawing down their stockpiles of “drilled but uncompleted wells.” These are wells that were previously drilled, but not finished.

Drilling applications suggest more new wells are on the way.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reported receiving 5,548 applications to drill last year, a 70 percent increase over 2016 and the most in at least six years.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 14, 20186min298
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved rules Tuesday to help the public get a general idea where oil and gas pipelines are located. The nine-member panel unanimously approved the regulatory update after three days of testimony. Regulators have been working on the proposal for months, in the wake of a home explosion in […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 2, 20186min905
It’s a new year, but it’s the same legislative outcome for Democratic bills to regulate oil and gas or to promote renewable energy in Colorado. Republicans Thursday made short work of two Senate bills that would pledge the state to get all its energy from renewable sources by 2035, and another to hold oil and […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 7, 20175min358
Sen. Matt Jones of Louisville said Wednesday he plans to introduce a bill in the next session to give local governments more authority to “plan, zone, and refuse to allow oil and gas operations as they see fit — just as they do with every other industry.” Though Jones is the Senate Democrats’ appointed leader […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirOctober 11, 20173min1367

You know the war over Broomfield’s anti-fracking proposal — or any pending ballot issue, for that matter — is heating up when a former governor steps into the fray. Republican Bill Owens, who served as Colorado’s chief exec until 2007, took to the airwaves and digital media this week with a video denouncing Question 301 on Broomfield’s November ballot.

In the video, Owens calls 301 “a deceiving measure” and a “cynical power play focused on blocking energy development.” The former two-term guv also assures viewers “Colorado already has the toughest oil and gas regulations in the U.S.”

The proposal would grant the combined city-county municipality “plenary authority to regulate all aspects of oil and gas development, including land use and all necessary police powers.” Plenary means absolute (we had to look it up), and there’s a problem with that: It’s a power that the state government contends local governments don’t have.

If it passes, the ballot measure probably would set Broomfield on a collision course with the state as the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled the state government, via the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, holds ultimate authority over oil and gas exploration.

That likely showdown prompted some residents to band together under the slogan, “Don’t let them divide Broomfield” in opposition to 301. They say they’re tired of their community serving as a jousting green over oil and gas politics.  In 2013, voters there OK’d a five-year drilling moratorium, but it was mooted by the aforementioned Supreme Court ruling. Earlier this year, voters turned back an attempt by anti-drilling resident-activists to recall a city council member perceived to be too soft on oil and gas exploration.

In siding with the No on 301 campaign, Owens — who before his time in elective office ran the Colorado Petroleum Association — appeals to war-weary Broomfielders in his video:

“National outside groups are trying to turn Broomfield into a political battleground over oil and gas development — again,” he says as the video opens. “Well enough is enough.”