Anadarko suspends Berthoud injection well proposal

BERTHOUD – A subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) has suspended its application to drill a deep wastewater injection well south of Colorado 56 and Weld County Road 7.

Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Onshore LP, the Anadarko subsidiary, had applied to the town to change zoning on land about two miles south of the roads’ intersection. The company put its proposal “on hold” and canceled a public meeting scheduled Monday evening to address residents’ questions and concerns, Berthoud planner Tim Katers said.

“I don’t have any other information on whether or not it will be brought back by the company,” Katers said.

Anadarko spokeswoman Robin Olsen said in an e-mail that the company canceled the meeting because it was premature and that the company was continuing to evaluate options for the well’s location.

Eighty-five to 100 tanker trucks would have required daily, 24-hour access to the well site, according to an application filed with the town of Berthoud. The company would have used the well for 50 years to inject wastewater 9,200 feet underground. The operation also would have included a 180-foot fall communications tower and a water treatment facility, the application states.

“Our operations will support many town businesses, including gas stations, restaurants, local hardware stores,” reads the application by Kerr-McGee.

Some residents complained that the project would have led to unwanted traffic and noise.

Berthoud resident Derek Helme owns a lot on County Road 7 on which he plans to build a home. Helme, who attended Monday’s meeting to find it was canceled, said he had concerns about noise from tanker trucks braking and accelerating on the road near homes.

“That’s a lot of trucks driving at our backdoor,” he said. “There are kids in that neighborhood.”

Monday’s meeting was not rescheduled.

There are 25 deep injection wells in the greater Wattenberg area designated specifically for exploration and production waste, said Todd Hartman, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources. The greater Wattenberg area spans nearly 3,000 square miles north of Denver and through a sizeable portion of Weld County.

“These are regulated by the (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) under delegation of authority from the (Environmental Protection Agency) and under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect current and potential underground sources of drinking water,” Hartman said.

Injection zones must meet criteria showing that an aquifer is unlikely to ever be used as drinking water, he added.

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