Oil and Gas Drilling and Development Information

Please note that the information provided below is only a portion of the information available on oil and gas drilling and production and is not all-inclusive. Douglas County does not endorse, promote or necessarily agree with information provided on any of the linked sites and disclaims any responsibility for the information contained on the sites, with the exception of the Douglas County Zoning Resolution.

Douglas County has received numerous inquiries regarding oil and gas drilling and production including where it can occur, what permits are required, etc. When researching these inquiries, staff identified several helpful and informative resources:

  • The Douglas County Zoning Resolution (DCZR) establishes the land use process for oil and gas drilling in Douglas County. The DCZR provides a process for oil and gas drilling through a Use by Special Review process on conforming Agricultural One (A-1) zoned parcels (35 acres or greater). The Use by Special Review process requires public hearings before the Douglas County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Oil and gas development in Colorado is regulated primarily by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), which is a division of the State of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources. The mission of the COGCC is to promote the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources. For typically asked questions of the COGCC, click on the GENERAL tab located on the left side of the screen, which takes users to a set of tabs, then click on “Typically asked Questions.”
  • The United States Geological Society (USGS) has published information regarding the technically recoverable oil and gas resources in the Denver Basin Province entitled 2002 USGS Assessment of Oil and Gas Resource Potential of the Denver Basin Province of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a comprehensive explanation of the hydraulic fracturing process and what oversight the EPA has in place to regulate this use.
  • In February 2011, the EPA released a draft study on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.
  • In 2004, the EPA provided a technical study entitled Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs Study on the impacts of water wells from hydraulic fracturing.
  • The State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife is working with the oil and gas industry to protect wildlife and mitigate the impacts of oil and gas drilling.
  • The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) is a trade association that “aggressively promotes the expansion of Rocky Mountain natural gas markets, supply and transportation infrastructure through its growing and diverse membership.” The purpose of COGA is “to foster and promote the beneficial, efficient, responsible and environmentally sound development, production and use of Colorado oil and natural gas.”
  • The National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) is an organization that represents oil and gas royalty owners’ interests. NARO promotes “the rights, responsibilities and the definitions of citizens who own the natural resources in our country.”
  • Geology.com is a website which provides a wide variety of information on rock formations, geologic activity, satellite images, maps and more. This link http://geology.com/articles/mineral-rights.shtml offers a very comprehensive, understandable explanation of what mineral rights are, uses and royalties, pooling and negotiation of leases. It also speaks to disagreements during extraction and potential damage to the surface and aquifers.
  • The Douglas County Assessor’s Office created the Mineral Interests brochure which offers a great deal of information on minerals and the statutes regarding ownership, rights and taxes. Visit the Assessor’s Office  for information regarding your property or for the Clerk & Recorder
  • Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) created an information page because of the public’s interest in and concern about the potential impacts of fracking on public health and the environment, including surface and ground water resources.
  • What is forced pooling? Matt Sura, landowner attorney, provides some information on this topic.
  • Planning Services created the following brochure to inform property owners about potential oil and gas development in the County:
  • Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) has information and guidance for property owners interested in learning more about domestic water testing. TCHD’s mission is to protect, promote and improve the health, environment and quality of life for the residents of Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. TCHD’s Water Quality and Disease Prevention  provides guidance on water testing as well as fact sheets on protecting the water quality in domestic wells.