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New Setbacks Might Create New Oil And Gas Permit Delay

Jim Hill

Larger buffers between new wells and homes may exacerbate a fracking permit backlog.

With a backlog of hydraulic fracturing applications numbering over 400 in June, oil companies' wait time for permits may get longer. The requirements, put in place at the beginning of August, call for oil and gas companies to establish a larger 500-foot buffer between new wells and homes.

The move replaces a previous 350-foot setback for urban areas and a 150-foot requirement for rural ones.

Colorado is the nation’s fifth-largest producer of natural gas and ninth-biggest oil producer.

As Bloomberg reports:

“The agency [Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission] has approved drilling 1,201 horizontal wells this year through yesterday [.pdf], compared with 1,190 permits in all of 2012. The number of permits is about 13 times higher than in 2008, records show.”

The new law requires companies to seek approval from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission when drilling within 1,000 feet of high occupancy buildings like schools or nursing homes.

You can read more at Bloomberg.

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