On September 30, 2019, Broomfield staff and representatives from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and the North Metro Fire and Rescue District conducted a community meeting concerning subsurface methane readings discovered as a result of Broomfield's Soil and Gas Testing Program in the area of the Davis 43-6 plugged and abandoned well. A map of the well location is linked here.
Test results, from Broomfield’s contractor ERO, that are of concern are from the immediate area of the well at depths of 15 and 18 feet below ground. Staff has been in daily contact with COGCC, and the North Metro Fire and Rescue District (NMFRD) to develop action steps to address the issue, these conversations resulted in the COGCC accepting the Davis 43-6 plugged and abandoned well into COGCC’s Orphaned Well Program on October 11th.
Subsequent to the determination, staff has, in partnership with COGCC, determined the remediation will, in fact, need to be completed.
At our meeting Oct. 16 with COGCC, they indicated that their geochemist has reviewed testing results provided by an accredited laboratory in more detail and has determined that the methane emissions are not associated with coal mines in the area, but are consistent with results associated with oil and gas production.
In response to Broomfield’s staff’s work, COGCC’s Orphan Well Program has made this well it’s number one priority. COGCC confirms that public safety is not impacted as the concentrations are subsurface(approximately 18 ft below ground) and there are no conduits to allow the migration off location. In an abundance of caution, Broomfield continues to withhold building permits in the area.
In response to our requests for confirmation, COGCC reiterated that any Oil & Gas operations (Drill/Fracking/completions) in the area (we asked specifically about the Livingston Pad) will not impact and/or influence the area around the Davis 43-6 plugged and abandoned well.
CCOB staff will be on-site during every phase of the remediation (Public Works, Oil & Gas Inspectors, PD) COGCC’s Orphan Well Program next steps include the following:
● Tomorrow a logistics meeting with Public Works, the NMFRD, Broomfield’s Oil and Gas Division inspector, and representatives from COGCC to discuss logistics associated with street cutting and exposing the pipe, and review of safety protocols.
● COGCC staff is requesting utility locates Oct. 16, which should be completed by Monday afternoon, Oct. 21. COGCC will have contractors on site after locates are completed to begin the process of repairing the well.
● COGCC’s work will include cutting a hole in the street, exposing the well pipe and other infrastructure, and then sliding a pipe around casing and then cementing between casing and pipe to seal any leaks, it is anticipated that this process will take at least 2 weeks from the time that the pipe is exposed.
● Concurrently, COGCC will be conducting further characterization of the extent of the subsurface contamination and determining any necessary additional remediation requirements. A time frame for remediation will be set one COGCC further assesses the contamination.
Staff will continue frequent communications with COGCC throughout this process and we will provide updates to Council and the public continuously over the next two weeks.
Broomfield has made UL combustible gas detectors available for residents living at the locations listed above. To date, there have been 7 detectors requested and have delivered 5 to date and will deliver the other 2 by Friday. We have provided notice on all social media channels, on our website, on B in the Loop, and additionally completed a mailing to ensure that all residents within 500 ft of the well have access to the UL combustible gas detectors. Additionally, NMFRD spent the weekend in the neighborhood and inspected 9 occupied residences and 11 unoccupied homes under construction, with no indications that there have been any combustible gases, including methane, detected.
Staff will remain vigilant in our effort to engage with the residents and provide an immediate response to the concerns that are generated. We will be requesting the NMFRD continue to provide individual house inspections, by appointment, for those residents that remained concerned.
Residents are asked to contact NMFRD directly at 303.452.9910 to sign up.
Currently, the testing will focus on homes in the following areas that are in closest proximity to the location of the methane testing points:
● Grahams Peak Way
● Spanish Peak Way, south of Mount Powell Drive
● Mount Powell Drive located from Spanish Peak Way, west to the end of the street
Residents within 500 ft of the well can also request a UL combustible gas detector by calling (303)438-6382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.