Report Shows Natural Gas Wells Have No Impact On Local Water Supply

DENVER, CO – A well respected hydrogeological/engineering company has found that four exploratory gas wells have not impacted Delta County’s water supply, according to a report prepared by Wright Water Engineering.

Wright Water Engineering (“WWE”), based in Glenwood Springs and Denver, found that Gunnison Energy LLC’s (“GELLC”) four natural gas test wells did not endanger local drinking water during production. All four wells were drilled to levels deeper than 2,400 feet, where the isolated water has high salinity. There was no connection between the upper potable waters and any lower saline waters, the report states.

The new report entitled Initial Review of Water Quantity and Quality: Data From Four GELLC Gas Exploration Wells in Delta County analyzes water samples and bore hole drillings from four natural gas wells: Lone Pine #1, Stevens Gulch #1, Dever Creek #1 and Spaulding Peak #1.

“From the beginning of this long process, we said we would share this information with the community, which includes nearly 300 employees of our parent company – Oxbow Corporation” said GELLC Vice President Tony Gale. “These results confirm what we said from the beginning: there was no chance of the test wells impacting local water supplies.”

Among the key findings in the report are the following:

  • The local water supplies were protected from GELLC’s drilling and exploration activities at Spaulding Peak, Dever Creek, Lone Pine and Stevens Gulch by using multiple solid steel casing and cement as a physical barrier.
  • GELLC did not encounter potable surface water at depths greater than approximately 800 feet. GELLC encased each well in steel and cement to a depth below the potable water-bearing intervals, removing all risk of connection to any saline water encountered.
  • Hydraulic fracturing data showed no connection between the hydrofractures and shallow groundwater in any of the four wells, based on hydraulic pressure plots obtained during stimulation.
  • Each exploration well was drilled to an average depth of 2,400 feet or the depth of the Rollins Sandstone located below the coal seams. Analyses performed on the water encountered at these levels revealed that it was non-potable with average Total Dissolved Solids values between 3,900 mg/L and 14,695 mg/L. (EPA secondary drinking water standard is 500 mg/L).

Gale will present a copy of the most recent WWE report to Delta County officials. A report can be downloaded from GELLC’s website at www.northforkvalleyproject.com.

GELLC is part of the Oxbow Group of Companies. Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, Oxbow owns and operates the Elk Creek Coal Mine in Somerset, Colorado, and the Terror Creek Coal Loadout and Oxbow Trucking Company in Paonia, Colorado.

For more information contact:
Brad Goldstein
Oxbow Corporation
561-697-4300 (Ext. 822)