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Release Date: 01/06/14
Contacts: Mike Blakeman, Public Affairs Specialist (719) 852-6212    

BLM approves San Francisco Creek Oil and Gas Well (01-06-13)

DEL NORTE, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management San Luis Valley Field Office authorized the construction of a well pad and access to drill and develop an exploratory oil and gas well on private land approximately five miles south of Del Norte.  The operator must also go through Rio Grande County’s conditional use permit process before work may begin.
“My decision to authorize this well is based on a thorough environmental assessment that incorporated the findings of the Rio Grande Hydrogeologic Study,” said SLV Field Office Manager Andrew Archuleta. “I feel confident that the drill plan and permit requirements provide the protective measures needed to safeguard the useable water resources in the Conejos Formation.”
The exploratory oil and gas well will be drilled on a 35-acre lot owned by the Dan A. Hughes Company near County Road 13. The BLM leased the federal mineral rights below the private land for a 10-year term in 2006.
The drill plan requires that intermediate casing be used through all useable water bearing zones. The BLM and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will conduct inspections during and after drilling operations to ensure compliance with the permit. These inspections will include checking the integrity of the well and casing as well as other standards spelled out in the permit.
The terms of the drilling permit require the operator to obtain approval from the BLM before conducting hydraulic fracturing operations.  The operator is also required to abide by all state regulations regarding the use and reporting of hydraulic fracturing operations.
A 1,320-foot road will be constructed across the company’s property to the well. The drill pad will disturb approximately 2.3 acres and will be enclosed with straw bales to minimize drilling noise. No evaporation ponds will be permitted for waste water, instead, a closed loop drilling system will be used to either recycle the water for further use or the water will be disposed of offsite at an authorized facility.
The BLM has not received any proposals for further oil and gas development in this area. Additional ground disturbing operations would require additional environmental analysis.
To view the environmental assessment, decision record and other information concerning the oil and gas well, log on to For more information, contact Andrew Archuleta at 719-655-2547.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  13308 West Highway 160      Del Norte, CO 81132  

Last updated: 01-07-2014