Fram Exploration, the Norway-based gas and oil company that operates the sprawling Whitewater Unit that includes parts of Mesa and Delta counties, is considering its first wells in Delta County, the BoCC was told in a recent report.
The commissioners were given an update on exploration activities last month by local government designee Bruce Bertram.
He reported possible drilling activities on private lands north of Delta in the property formerly known as the Lower White Ranch.
Fram, two years ago, began producing oil from its wells in the Whitewater Unit on the Mesa County side of the county line. The company, whose name means "to go forward" in Norwegian, is considering Delta County exploration activities in the same Dakota sandstone formations it is tapping in Mesa County, the BoCC was told.
Several years ago a different drilling company that is no longer in business had put in test wells on the same property Fram is considering north of Delta. That company had drilled four of six proposed wells using an experimental air drilling technique.
Bertram told the BoCC that preliminary ideas about Fram's expansion into Delta County could involve multiple pad sites with multiple wells from each pad. Five or six well pads could be used as the exploration base for 20 or more wells. Wells would be "directional, but not horizontal." The project would explore the Dakota formation to a depth of over 2,000 feet, he said.
Mineral rights in the area of Fram's current interest were auctioned off on a 40-acre parcel by the BoCC on Monday, Jan. 7. There were two bidders for the rights, which went to high bidders Les and Melissa Hamilton for a price of $2,018. Interest in the county's mineral rights on the 40-acre White Ranch parcel were sparked last year when an exploration industry "land man" associated with Fram offered the county $500 for its mineral rights under the privately owned surface.
The county commissioners at their same meeting Monday also accepted a bid by surface owners for mineral rights in the Dominguez Canyon area. Fortunate Fruit LLC was the lone bidder on the rights underlying 27.41 acres north of the Gunnison River.
Other points covered by the local government designee's report included the following ones:
• Gunnison Energy Corporation is "pretty much done" with drilling activities at its Iron Point well north of Paonia near the county line. Production testing has taken place there.
• The GEC well at Spaulding Peak north of Cedaredge was at almost 12,000 feet; about 6,000 horizontal and the remainder vertical, and heading to a total depth of some 13,000 feet.
• Many questions about GEC's truck traffic on Surface Creek Road were fielded and answered by Bertram during a neighborhood meeting recently.
• Proposed new state regulations on oil and gas producers are "precipitating major questions in the industry," Bertram said.blog comments powered by Disqus