Colorado Revised Statutes Title 24 Government State § 24-655-1035 Oil and gas operations areas




(1)(a) Within the boundaries of a qualifying surface development, an oil and gas operations area shall meet at least one of the following requirements:

(I) If three or more wells have been or are being drilled in three separate drilling windows in any governmental quarter section, the oil and gas operations area shall provide for a setback not to exceed:

(A) A two-hundred-fifty-foot radius around one of the existing wells located in each of three separate drilling windows;

(B) A two-hundred-foot radius around any other existing wells;

(C) A two-hundred-foot perimeter around tanks;  and

(D) An adequate right-of-way or easement for existing and future flowlines and pipelines and a nonexclusive right-of-way for roads reasonably necessary to access the wells and operations located within such areas;  or

(II) If two or fewer wells have been or are being drilled in any governmental quarter section, the oil and gas operations area shall provide for:

(A) A six-hundred-foot by six-hundred-foot area, referred to in this paragraph (a) as the six-hundred-foot window, the center of which shall be located no further than two hundred feet from the center of the governmental quarter section.  The six-hundred-foot window shall establish a setback from wells and tanks not to exceed two hundred feet from any occupied structure, one-hundred-fifty feet of such setback to be located inside the boundary of the oil and gas operations area and fifty feet to be located outside the boundary of the oil and gas operations area.

(B) A two-hundred-foot radius around any existing wells located outside of the six-hundred-foot window;

(C) A two-hundred-foot perimeter around tanks;  and

(D) An adequate right-of-way or easement for existing and future flowlines and pipelines and roads reasonably necessary to access the wells and operations located within such areas.

(b) The oil and gas operations area configured under subparagraph (I) or (II) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall be the exclusive area for the location of wells and associated surface production facilities, including tanks.  The approved plat may provide that the outer fifty feet of any setback of two hundred feet or more may be used by the surface owner for underground utilities, sidewalks, trails, and parking and may be landscaped with grasses or shallow-root landscaping and irrigated by sprinklers, all at the cost of the surface owner and without any liability to the mineral estate owner in the event of any damage to such improvements from the resumption or continuation of oil and gas operations.  The surface owner shall cooperate with the operator to ensure that any sidewalks, trails, or parking areas within the outer fifty feet of any setback are restricted from public access during active oil and gas operations requiring use of the area by heavy equipment.

(2) A surface owner may not encroach on an oil and gas operations area or interfere with the mineral estate owner's use of an oil and gas operations area or any associated rights of way or easements designated in a plat or other application for development approved for recordation except as specified in this section.

(3) In addition to the criteria specified in subsection (1) of this section, the area included within an oil and gas operations area may be modified or moved as reasonably necessary to take into account legal, topographical, or existing surface development restrictions if such modification or movement does not adversely affect oil and gas operations, but an oil and gas operations area may not be reduced or increased in area.

(4) If the development plan contained in an approved application for development containing an approved oil and gas operations area is vacated, a mineral estate owner owning a mineral estate within the boundaries of such development shall thereafter be free to conduct operations within such boundaries in accordance with article 60 of title 34, C.R.S., and the commission's rules then or thereafter existing and subject to the provisions of any applicable surface use agreement.

(5) Nothing in this section impairs or overrides the authority of the commission to establish, amend, or otherwise regulate with respect to the establishment, modification, or elimination of drilling windows or any other matter within the commission's jurisdiction.





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