Raton Basin
Regulating Agencies

Coalbed Methane Regulatory Agencies

As part of a new series, on a regular basis we will be highlighting the different regulatory agencies that regulate coalbed methane (CBM) development.  The current agency being highlighted is the COGCC.  Please scroll down past the diagram for a brief summary.

Below is a diagram of some of the regulatory agencies.

COGCC - Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Mission - "To foster the responsible development of Colorado's oil and gas resources" (Source:  COGCC)

Key COGCC Rules Pertaining to CBM Development

Rule 608 - Coalbed Methane Groundwater Sampling and Monitoring

  • Rules effective on April 1, 2009
  • Requires CBM operators to identify and assess the risk of leaking gas or water to ground surface or subsurface water resources from plugged and abandoned (P&A) wells within 1/4 mile of a CBM well
  • Requires the two closest water wells within a 1/4 mile radius of a proposed CBM well be sampled prior to drilling, within one year after completion, 3 years after completion, and 6 years after completion
  • Copies of all test results are provided to COGCC and the water well owner within 3 months of sample collection

Rule 609 - O&G Groundwater Sampling and Monitoring

  • New regulations become effective on May 1, 2013
  • Requires operators to sample nearby water wells before and after drilling
  • Colorado is one of three states that require mandatory groundwater sampling
  • Colorado is the only state that requires post-drilling water sampling

Proposed Rule - Setbacks

  • Rules become effective August 1, 2013
  • Goal to limit impacts from drilling on nearby residences and other nearby buildings with occupants
  • Proposal to increase setback to 500 feet statewide in both rural and urban areas
  • Proposal would require operators to participate in increased outreach programs with residents and expanded notice
  • Rule to limit disruption from nearby drill sites
  • Rule would not allow operators to operate within 1,000 feet of buildings including schools, nursing homes and hospitals without special approval

COGCC Water Quality Data

For more information about the COGCC and rules pertaining to CBM development and operations, please visit the following website:  www.cogcc.state.co.us.