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Drilling and Operating in the Urban Jungle

James P. Wason, Development Issues & Conflicts in Modern Gas and Oil Plays (2004)

This paper will discuss the practical, legal and economic aspects of implementing and executing an aggressive drilling program in the Wattenberg Field, located in the center of the Denver Julesburg Basin. Although the author will refer to this field specifically, the problems and issues surrounding the field are applicable to other areas of the country where rapid urbanization is occurring.

The swift increase of the population in the West has caused encroachment conflicts where operators must meet new challenges to gain access to drill new wells, operate existing wells, and gather and produce the hydrocarbon products from the field. The traditional negotiations of surface damages, their economic criteria and the complex permitting issues that arise from these operations will be discussed.