Maps of Larimer County O&G wells
Below is a simple screenshot of the wells in Larimer County, taken from the interactive COGCC map, May 18, 2020; however, see below it for links to other maps that categorize wells by their various attributes:
Comment on above image: this image is strictly cosmetic, and is only meant to give a general idea of where wells (of all types) are located in the county. As can be seen, they are mostly clustered in the southeast, but with three pockets of clusters north of Ft Collins. The blue squares, and identifying codes are the Township-Range-Section notation, which is how wells were located to within a sqaure mile, prior to GPS. The system originated with the Public Land Survey System, which is now administered by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), which is explained at wikipedia for those interested in history.
If you want to see the COGCC interactive map from these data are taken, see here: https://cogccmap.state.co.us/cogcc_gis_online/ Be warned that the map is difficult to use at first; taking the time to familiarize yourself with the tool bar, and what the tools can do, is helpful.
Because the COGCC interactive map is so hard to use, the most significant categories of wells in the county have been reconstructed on maps below, which are much easier to use (constructed using Google Maps).
NOTES ON USING MAPS BELOW:
The maps below are interactive, meaning you can control the view you see; these are the controls you can use:
- Zoom in: click on the + icon in the corner
- Zoom out: click on the - icon in the corner
- To scroll the map: click and hold your mouse button, and move your mouse in the direction you want the map to move.
- To see the data associated with wells: see the URL in the map description. Click a map marker will show you the API # for the well; use that to locate the well in the associated data table. The API# is the second column from the left.
- If the map is zoomed out when it first appears, simply zoom in.
API stands for the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade association for the O&G industry
INFORMATION ABOUT THE DATA:
All data was taken from the COGCC website on May 18, 2020, from the Daily Dashboard webpage. There are 10 categories of wells; 6 categories are shown on maps below:
- Maps are shown for the following categories (with total number of wells) :
- Producing Wells: 113
- Injection Wells: 24
- Drilling but not Completed Wells: 32
- Temporarily Abandoned Wells: 21
- Approved To Drill: 2
- Gas Wells: 1
- The other categories of wells NOT shown are:
- Abandoned Locations: 101
- Dry & Abandoned: 150
- Plugged & Abandoned: 244
- Shut-in Wells: 78
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DATA TABLES:
Each map was produced from a data table; access to the data table is provided via a URL that is shown with each map (on tinyurl.com)
When you click on that URL, it will bring up the data, but to use the data, it is best to click the icon at the top center, to 'View in Google Sheets', which will allow you to download the data, and otherwise peruse the data at will.
These are the current O&G producing wells in the county. Click a marker to see its identifying API #. Use the API# to locate a well in the accompanying data table.
Producing wells are indicated by blue markers; purple markers indicate wells that are "on hold".
To see the data for this map: https://tinyurl.com/y79842ao
Injection wells are where well operators dump the "produced water", which occurs naturally, plus the "flowback", which is man-made. Flowback is the portion of the fracking fluid that comes back up once the the well has been fracked under high pressure (e.g. 10,000 lbs/psi); but once the fracking phase is done, the wellhead must be opened up to allow gas to flow up the wellbore; this results in about half the amount of fracking fluid that was pumped down, that was previously under high pressure, to seek release, which means forcing the excess fracking fluid out the wellhead . This is the "flowback".
"Produced water" is water that was already present in the target geologic strata that was already there, and due to the pressure differential, gets pushed up the wellbore. This water typically contains a high salt content, toxic metals and can even be naturally radioactive; of course, this varies by location. The amount of water used for fracking fluids in fracking a well is large, somewhere between 3 to 8 million gallons per well per frack job, or even up to 15 million gallons for more current wells, which have longer and more dense traverse wellbores. Where operators obtain this water can be a problem in semi-arid climates like Colorado, and can increase water stress between the industry, agriculture and communities. The waste water is no longer usable (some consider it a toxic waste), so it must be pumped down a Class II injection well (> 8000' deep). This disposal method permanently removes all the water from the hydrologic cycle and has been proven to cause earthquakes, but is still unregulated from that standpoint in Colorado. The entire process, in the opinion of the Alliance, is underregulated, and has been a growing problem that this "self-regulating" industry has never solved. (see The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare, Desmog Blog, Sept 18, 2018. For more information on the hazards of disposal wells, and the enormous scale of the problem, see Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us, ProPublica, June 12, 2012)
There are 24 such wells in the county (as of May 2020), located in the same areas where the producing wells are. Since the produced water and flowback fracking fluid is accomplished during the completion phase, it is unclear how much the injection wells get used once the producing wells are completed.
Click a marker to see its identifying API #. Use the API# to locate a well in the accompanying data table.
To see the well data: https://tinyurl.com/yctrlpom
TEMPORARILY ABANDONED WELLS
These are wells that have been abandoned, but could potentially be reopened. Of historic interest, the oldest well in the group, drilled in 1928, is at the southwest intersection of Taft and 287; the operator is unknown. Click a marker to see its identifying API #. Use the API# to locate a well in the accompanying data table. To see the data for this map: https://tinyurl.com/yamuu9ha
DRILLING BUT NOT COMPLETED WELLS
The title is self-explanatory. There are 33 wells total, clustered on 3 sites in the southeast corner of the county, all of them operated by Kerr-McGee. Click a marker to see its identifying API #. To see the data for this map: https://tinyurl.com/ycv5oasz
APPROVED TO DRILL
These are wells approved to drill by the COGCC but the operator has not yet started. Two wells are listed, but they have identical lat/longs location, so there is really just one well. To see the table data: https://tinyurl.com/yawazm5v