If oil and gas operators seeking to drill in Weld County submit a permit today, a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) Form 2A is required. February 1, 2017 marks the final day that operators can submit a COGCC Form 2A without having to go through the new Weld County Weld Oil and Gas Location Assessment process (WOGLA). Beginning February 2, 2017, an approved WOGLA will be required for construction of oil and gas facilities in Weld County, in addition to the COGCC approved Form 2A.
What does this mean for oil and gas operators?
One of the major changes that WOGLA presents to operators is the Location Drawing exhibit. The COGCC Location Drawing requires all visible improvements be depicted within 500 feet; whereas the WOGLA Location Drawing requires all visible improvements be depicted within 1,000 feet. This presents a challenge with the ability to receive permission from surrounding land owners allowing access onto their property for survey purposes. Weld County states that if permission cannot be obtained, then an on-the-ground estimation can be performed, as well as utilization of GIS images from Google Earth or a public domain. Both of those options present the possibility of a high degree of inaccuracy due to lack of visibility or lack of current and updated GIS imagery.
A major requirement of the new WOGLA process is the WOGLA notice, which is sent to all Building Unit owners, the Weld County Local Government Designee (LGD), and proximate LGDs within 1,000 feet of the Oil and Gas Location. Required with this notice is a Notification Zone Drawing exhibit (NZD) that shows every building unit within 1,000 feet of the proposed site. If either the on-the-ground survey estimation or GIS imagery fails to include a building unit on the NZD, then that may lead to the operator failing to provide notice to all Building Unit owners. This could result in repercussions that could be costly in regard to time, money, and industry position.
A Proposed Solution
Ascent Geomatics Solutions has regulatory expertise in this area, and our team is experienced in working with innovative technology to provide the most efficient and reliable solution to this challenge. Our Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as drones, can safely collect data in minutes, such as the additional 500 feet of visible improvements required, and can do so at any stage of the project.
We will continue to provide updates as we learn more about this new regulatory initiative. Please also join us on February 2nd for our first webinar on the topic of WOGLA.