Two new Kinder Morgan carbon dioxide wells were recommended for approval by the Montezuma County Planning Department this week.
The wells are on private land southwest of Lewis. The GP-28 Well would be at the corner of Road 18 and Road T, and the GP-30 Well would be on Road 17 south of Road S. Kinder Morgan has obtained a mutually acceptable Surface Use Agreement with the property owners.
Pending final state and county approvals, the approximate start date for construction of the well pads is Nov. 1 and is expected to take 40 days to drill and complete. For each site, construction will involve seven equipment transport loads and 400 belly dump loads of gravel. After the initial surge of trucks, the rig will be moved in, which will consist of approximately 56 semitrailer loads.
County threshold standards for noise, dust and traffic may be temporarily exceeded during construction of the well pad and during drilling. Minor amounts of H2S gas may occasionally be released during drilling.
Kinder Morgan policy requires that all large trucks obey a 25 mph speed limit on county roads, make complete stops at all controlled intersections, avoid use of engine brakes between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., and exhibit courtesy to all neighbors in the area. Offenders are given two strikes prior to removal from the project.
The wells would tie into nearby flow lines that lead to a separation facilities at the Goodman Point Plant, located 5.6 miles southwest of the well and north of Road N.
Truck routes for well construction are County Roads U, 20, T, 17, 18 and S. As a result of public requests, Kinder Morgan began presenting improved maps showing the location of the wells and truck routes in relation to nearby Kinder Morgan infrastructure, roads and towns.
During the planning meeting, some residents urged the planning board to not recommend approval of new wells until an issue with a well on Road BB is better understood.
The CX-14 well on Road was ordered to cease operations Aug. 23 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Before restarting, Kinder Morgan is required to consult a toxicologist regarding well emissions and explore alternative venting options.
Kinder Morgan officials would only say the well was shut down because of a complaint from a nearby neighbor, Tom Hayden, who was concerned about recent well venting, gas smells and a faulty alarm on an air quality unit, which has since been repaired.
Ellen Foster urged Kinder Morgan to be more forthcoming about details that triggered the state to suspend the CX-14 well operations.
“If the COGCC shut down every well due to a complaint, there would be shutdowns all over the place, and that is not the case,” she said. Air quality reports leading up to the state halting well operations should be made available to the public, Foster added.
During drilling of the new wells, it is possible poisonous hydrogen sulfide could be released. Kinder Morgan has a H2S contingency plan to protect workers and the public if the gas is detected by air monitors on-site. They agreed to create a contact list of neighbors and notify them if there are dangerous levels released.
At the request of the Montezuma County commissioners and residents, Kinder Morgan is planning to host public educational forums on the construction of wells, phases of the drilling process, and public safety protocols.
As a result of a new state law, SB181, oil and gas companies must first obtain county permits for development projects before applying for state permits. Prior to the law it could be done the other way.