The Broomfield Oil and Gas Division has been working with a consultant (ERO) to perform soil gas testing on plugged and abandoned wells since May of 2019.
The Broomfield Oil and Gas Division has been working with a consultant (ERO) to perform soil gas testing on plugged and abandoned wells since May of 2019. To date, 28 wells have been tested. There are 20 wells that are on private land and require access permission from the land owner, which has not yet been granted.
The soil gas testing program involves locating plugged and abandoned wells, establishing sample points, and using these sample points to screen for methane. If methane is detected, the wells are rescreened. If methane continues to be present, additional and more sophisticated testing protocols are used to determine if the methane is from oil and gas or is related to organic matter. Of the wells that have been tested, only one of them had high methane results, that required additional sampling and testing. This result is associated with the Davis 43-6 well located in Anthem Highlands and shown on the map linked here.
As a result of the higher reading, additional safeguards have been taken in addition to further sampling protocols. The following actions have been taken and are continuing:
Broomfield staff have been in close consultation with the North Metro Fire Rescue District, Broomfield Public Works, and Broomfield Emergency Management. The focus has been to perform monitoring using proper instrumentation to measure methane in surrounding areas. The methane is subsurface and is not airborne.
Broomfield staff have coordinated with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), Xcel Energy, and ERO (Broomfield’s contractor) to perform additional sampling and analysis of results. Additional sampling monitoring points have been established and are being closely monitored. The methane levels have significantly declined, however, until the source is identified, additional sampling and monitoring is being performed.
In an abundance of caution, Broomfield is not issuing construction permits on properties adjacent to this area. Additionally, Broomfield staff have kept the Adams 5-Star School District informed as necessary.
Again, it is important to reiterate that the methane is subsurface and the focus has been to monitor methane levels in and around the area while additional sampling is being completed.