The Boulder City Council in Colorado on Tuesday night unanimously agreed to impose a one-year moratorium on issuing new drilling permits, and it adopted on first reading a ban to use or sell water for oil and gas extraction.
The council's drilling permit ban was adopted as an emergency ordinance. The water resolution, which requires a second vote, would ban the "use, sale or supply of water for oil and natural gas extraction" in the city limits.
The council votes follow actions last month by Boulder's county commissioners, who opted to lift a moratorium on new wells, which is set to expire next Monday (June 10) (see Shale Daily, May 28). Commissioners want to phase in planned energy development in the eastern half of the county.
Industry officials indicated that the drilling permit moratorium on city-owned open space may be an academic gesture since there hasn't been an application for an oil or gas permit in the city during the past 10 years.
Production in Boulder County has increased in past decade, and last year oil production reached 176,050 bbl and gas production was 2.25 Bcf. However, the county last year only accounted for 0.43% of oil produced and 0.12% of gas produced statewide, according to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission data.
Earlier this year Fort Collins, CO, adopted a resolution to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) within city limits (see Shale Daily, March 7).
In Fort Collins police are reportedly investigating a petition that was circulated earlier this year for supporters opposed to the fracking ban. The petition, tied to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, was subsequently withdrawn when a number of the businesses claimed it misrepresented their positions. Reports indicated that the investigation is to determine if there was any possible criminal activity involved.