Permits for a new Kinder Morgan carbon dioxide well in the Goodman Point area gained approval from the Montezuma County Planning and Zoning commissioners Thursday, and it could indicate an expanded field.
The GP-29 well is slated to be drilled on 6.6 acres of private land off County Road S, west of Road 18. It is pending final approvals from the Montezuma County Commissioners and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
A surface-use agreement has been negotiated with the landowner, said Kinder Morgan agent Chris Lopez.
A 2-mile flow line would be installed running south along existing pipeline routes and tie into flow lines of carbon dioxide well GS-16, off Road 17. Older surface-use agreements with landowners along the pipeline route are being reviewed to determine if they need to be updated.
Lopez said the well originally was planned as a “step-out appraisal well” to test whether the area has a good CO2 reservoir. But because demand for CO2 increased in the past three weeks, Kinder Morgan officials decided to make it a production well.
“It is a new area from where we have normally been, and the idea was to try and find a new reservoir,” Lopez said. “If we are successful with this well, maybe there could be some future development in the area.”
A nearby, decades-old abandoned natural gas well was tested for carbon dioxide with encouraging results, he said. Plans were recently updated to obtain permits for the flow line in anticipation of new production.
If approved, construction of the well pad would begin in February. The drill rig would arrive in March, and a 30-day drilling period would start in April. If tests show good production, the flow lines would be installed in May. The well and pipeline permits are bundled together.
Lopez said an expanded buffer-zone requirement was implemented for the GP-29 well. In the past, measurement for the required 1,000 foot buffer from structures began at the wellhead. But the COGCC guidelines now require the measurement begin at the edge of disturbance of the well pad, Lopez said. In this case, it increases the buffer zone by an additional 500 feet, bringing the total to about 1,500 feet.
“The rule has been reinterpreted by the COGCC,” he said.
If buildings fall within the buffer zones, the issue can be reviewed under variance and mitigation process.
Kinder Morgan is planning for five new wells in 2019 – three in Montezuma County and two in Dolores County, Lopez said. Re-entry work also is planned for two older wells in Risley Canyon of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Planning and zoning commissioner Bob Clayton said the permit application for the new well was very thorough. No conditions were attached to the planning board recommendation for approval.
During public comment, citizen Ellen Foster requested that when well permit proposals are presented, the maps should be broader to give the public a better sense of where the well will be located in reference to other wells, infrastructure and properties.
The planning board expressed appreciation for Kinder Morgan’s contribution to the county. The idea of whether the company would consider giving presentations on overall plans for future development in the area was discussed.
“It understandable that residents want to know what to expect,” said planning commissioner Kelly Belt.
Lopez said it was an idea worth considering.