Residents in Aurora, Colo. are still not happy with ConocoPhillips, despite the oil giant catering to their suggestions, according to the Aurora Sentinel.
ConocoPhillips began leasing land for drilling in Aurora back in 2012. They currently own six of the eight well sites that have been approved for drilling by city planners, with two of the sites under current production. ConocoPhillips has sinced submitted nine more applications for sites in East Aurora, but have not yet been approved. ConocoPhillips spokesperson Jim Lowry says that the company is producing 600 barrels of oil a day in Aurora, and once a well is in full-production mode, it can produce for up to 30 years. The company is also using the highly controversial method of fracking, which is where the red flags with residents come into play.
State law in Colorado says that well sites be no closer than one thousand feet from residential homes. A well that is being fracked can see horizontal drilling go as far as one-and-a-half miles in any given direction, which worries local residents.
ConocoPhillips, on the other hand, say they have catered to residents’ every need by holding open houses to discuss concerns along with safety and health issues. “We paint the wells, we paint the equipment. If there’s a need, we put a sound barrier around a site. We try to make the most minimal footprint we can make,” Lowry said.
Aurora resident John Dougherty has taken issue with the Aurora city council and city staff who have moved forward to amend oil and gas regulations so ConocoPhillips can install a 31-and-a-half foot tall vapor recovery tower to meet state air quality regulations at well sites. As of now, city regulation only allow companies to build well pad facilities as high as 20 feet. “There is shorter equipment that can accomplish the same goal of controlling emissions, and ConocoPhillips is just trying to save money by installing the taller towers,” said Dougherty.
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