Oil and gas operations have breathed economic life into Broomfield for decades — even before Broomfield was known as Broomfield. The many iconic legacy wells of the city represent far more than Broomfield’s past. Today, the Wattenberg Field remains a rich, largely untapped reservoir of mineral resources that will fuel local and national energy needs — and benefit Broomfield’s local economy — now and long into the future.
Extraction Oil & Gas is leading the way into that vibrant future. Informed by local input and carefully gathered community feedback, the company recently developed a robust plan designed to stimulate the Broomfield economy and rejuvenate a reliable source of tax revenue.
Thanks to the use of more technologically advanced and efficient horizontal wells, Extraction avoids using conventional vertical wells for producing oil and gas. With horizontal drilling techniques, the company can extract natural resources from the same areas with fewer and much smaller surface areas.
Unpacking Extraction’s Development Plan, Step by Step
Leave No Trace
As a first step, Extraction will shut down and take away all surface equipment from dozens of older vertical wells. It will also plug the wells with concrete and restore them with natural vegetation — leaving no trace that a well was there. This is a voluntary initiative proposed by the company that is not required by regulatory agencies. The removal of these 41 legacy wells, when combined with state-of-the-art engineering designs that capture 99.9 percent of emissions at Extraction’s production sites, will result in a 65 percent net reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas operations.
Next, Extraction will oversee the planting of native trees, grasses and shrubs in these areas following integrity testing on the wells. The company will return the vertical well sites to their landowners, or to the City and County of Broomfield. The space surrounding the reclaimed land can then be left as open space or redeveloped for recreational, residential or commercial purposes.
At present, 12 parcels of land in Broomfield are permit-cleared for oil and natural gas well operations. These will be consolidated to four areas of operation along the Northwest Parkway. To minimize any potential impacts of the new development, Extraction will use cutting-edge horizontal drilling techniques, as well as best-in-class management practices. The result: A cleaner, quieter and more efficient oil and gas operation than Bloomfield has ever experienced before.
These consolidated areas will not permanently house any oil in tanks onsite, eliminating potential emissions associated with the storage of oil and gas. Further stepping up its commitment to safely and responsibly serving the communities Extraction operates in, the company will also use the latest equipment whenever and wherever possible to minimize impact. This includes using whisper-quiet electric drilling rigs powered directly from the grid. Extraction’s well completions will utilize noise-reducing Quiet Fleet pump trucks from its partner, Denver-based Liberty Oilfield Services.
Driven, Dedicated and Discreet
Extraction’s new wells will be discreetly situated behind landscaping features built to fit the surrounding environment. This new physical infrastructure is designed to blend in with Broomfield’s natural surroundings as much as possible, protecting the local quality of life.
Extraction is actively focused on growing a healthier local economy in Broomfield. The development plan is expected to boost local severance taxes, which will benefit area schools and significantly improve roads.
While roads are being improved thanks to increased tax revenue to Broomfield, truck traffic will be dramatically reduced as a result of Extraction’s plan to build pipelines to transport oil, natural gas and water from the wells to a remote processing facility. Using pipelines eliminates the need for large onsite production tanks. The best practices laid out in the company’s extensive development plan set the gold standard for future oil and gas development in Colorado and across the nation.
As residents of the Front Range, Extraction Oil & Gas cares deeply about the well-being of the surrounding community and the local environment. The company’s Broomfield Development Plan is the primary reason Extraction was named Exploration and Production Company of the Year at the prestigious 2018 Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards. The innovations Extraction introduced in Broomfield are a core part of the company’s continued commitment to safely and responsibly developing the energy resources we all use each day.