EnCana will ease drilling impact on GarCo residents
EnCana Oil and Gas Inc. announced Thursday that it will reduce by one-third its natural gas drilling operations in the Mamm Creek gas field to ease impacts on ranchers and other residents of the rural area.EnCana has operated an average of 15 drilling rigs over the last year in the Grass Mesa, Hunter Mesa and Divide Creek areas, roughly 880,000 acres south of Rifle and Silt. It will reduce the number of rigs to 10 starting in January, according to Walter Lowry, EnCana’s director of community and industry relations.”We have come up with a plan to address our impacts on our neighbors,” Lowry said. “The rigs carry with them a certain amount of impact.”Drilling rigs run typically round-the-clock with a supervisor and two crews of five members each, Lowry said. Equipment is frequently delivered to the sites and safety and environmental personnel regularly visit, so each rig generates a fair amount of traffic, he acknowledged.Reducing the number of rigs by a third should make a noticeable dent in the activity in the area, Lowry added.The drilling rigs will be deployed elsewhere in Colorado and, to a lesser extent, out of state, according to EnCana.The redeployment is a response to talks EnCana has had with residents, Garfield County commissioners, state elected officials and the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, according to Lowry.
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