The Basics

Basics: Colorado Water Supply

Hydraulic fracturing and its impact on Colorado’s water supply is often misunderstood. To fracture an average horizontal well in Colorado, and most other parts of the nation, two to five million gallons of water are needed. Sound like a lot? It isn’t if you put that into perspective with the state’s total usage: It is a drop in the bucket. For example, in 2010 4.53 billion gallons were used for hydraulic fracturing across Colorado. As staggering as that may sound, this figure only represents 0.08% of Colorado’s water use in 2010; not even 1/1000 of total annual use. Read More »

Basics: Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is the process of creating small fissures, or fractures, in underground geological formations to allow natural gas and oil to flow into a wellbore and up to the surface where it is collected and prepared. It is part of the final stages of the overall drilling procedure, called the completion phase. It occurs thousands of feet—often more than a mile—below ground surface and groundwater aquifers, separated by multiple layers of impermeable rock or shale.Hydraulic fracturing is critical to the development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs that would otherwise be uneconomical. Read More »

Basics: Mineral Rights and Royalties

Mineral rights refer to the ownership of the mineral estate, which lies beneath the surface. Separate from the surface estate, mineral estates come with their own rights and rules for access. In Colorado, there are over an estimated 600,000 citizens that have a chain of title to mineral ownership based off a study from Oklahoma University. Read More »