Draco FAQ

We’ll be updating this FAQ as we get additional information from the various involved parties. Where possible, links to additional/source material have been provided.

What is fracking?

From the NRDC:

“Modern high-volume hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to enable the extraction of natural gas or oil from shale and other forms of “tight” rock (in other words, impermeable rock formations that lock in oil and gas and make fossil fuel production difficult). Large quantities of water, chemicals, and sand are blasted into these formations at pressures high enough to crack the rock, allowing the once-trapped gas and oil to flow to the surface.”

For more information, visit:
Hydraulic Fracturing 101 at Earthworks.org
Fracking 101 at the NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council)

Where is the Draco pad?

The proposed Draco pad is located northwest of CR 6 and CR 7 at the Crestone Hub. View on Google Maps.

How many wells are proposed at the Draco pad?

26 new wells are proposed to be drilled from the Draco pad, extending over 5 miles west from the Crestone Hub into Boulder County.

Where are they drilling? Or, what is the extent of the horizontal/directional wellbores?

The wellbores extend over 5 miles west from the Crestone Hub, loosely bound by Erie Parkway to the north, Hwy 287 to the west, Arapahoe Rd and CR 4 to the south, and CR 7 to the east.

Where can I get details on the Weld County Oil & Gas Location Assessment (WOGLA)?

The Draco application has been approved by Weld County. All the application materials for the Draco WOGLA submittal are available on the Weld County web site. To view the attached documents, choose the Attachments item from the Record Info dropdown.

You may also view the regulations for the WOGLA process as adopted in August 2020.

Where can I get details on the Oil & Gas Development Plan (OGDP) at the Energy & Carbon Commission (ECMC)?

The Draco OGDP is currently in completeness review with the ECMC, meaning a Form 2C is in process, and related Form 2A and Form 2Bs have not yet passed completeness. Documents for the OGDP are available on the COGIS database.

  • Search for Draco documents at the Hearings eFiling System using DNRCOG Docket Number 240100004
  • While it doesn’t appear online yet, the Form 2A is in draft status with document number 403550304
How do the Draco directional wellbores intersect with those drilled at Pratt and Waste Connections in 2017?

The Draco wellbores (in blue) completely cover/intersect with the wellbores at the Pratt and Waste Connections pads. Because these segments lie outside of the proposed drilling and spacing unit (DSU), we expect the operator will not frac directly adjacent to the Pratt and Waste Connections wellbores. There are 28 legacy plugged and abandoned wells and 24 existing producing or shut in wells within the proposed DSU with significant risk of interference, aka “frac hits.” For a detailed view, see our Draco Map. Data obtained from the ECMC GIS viewer.

How close is the Draco pad to the Westerly development?

The Draco pad is less than 2,000 ft from the homes to be built at the Westerly development, including a neighborhood park and a proposed middle school.

How will the Draco pad affect residents in other neighborhoods such as Erie Highlands, Sunset, Grandview, Erie Commons, and Compass?

During the drilling and completions processes, residents will be at increased risk for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), noise, and traffic along Erie Parkway and CR 5/6/7. They’ll also be at increased risk for the hundreds of plugged & abandoned wells in the area that may experience interference from the directional wellbores, where the immense pressures of the hydraulic fracturing process may cause these wells to fail (Erie currently has 239 plugged and abandoned wells within its boundaries).

How much water will be used to frac these wells?

Recently drilled wells in the area have used a median of 15 million gallons of water., Since these well bores are so long (over 5 miles), we expect the project to permanently poison over 500 million gallons of water.

Where will operator get the water to frac these wells?

Most likely, the operator will purchase water from a local water ditch company.

Are there air quality monitoring stations nearby?

Yes, since 2021, the Town of Erie has contracted with Ajax Analytics to monitor air quality nearby. You may view a map of the monitoring network on Google Earth, or view data collected from these monitoring stations on Ajax Analytics’ web site.

How will this affect the development at Westerly?

In accordance with the Town of Erie Reciprocal Setback Standards ordinance adopted in 2021, “no external boundary of a new residential lot, structure that requires a certificate of occupancy, park, sports field, or playground shall be located less than two thousand (2,000) feet from the oil and gas Working Pad Surface.” For now, we’re assuming the developer would be unable to plat new lots within that radius and yes, they would be unable to start building the new middle school until the wells have been completed/fracked and are in production.

What about mine and subsidence concerns?

According to Jill Carson of the Colorado Geolocial Survey in materials provided for the WOGLA, “some of the proposed wells may encounter rubble zones and possible voids associated with the mine workings. The applicant should be made aware of the undermining and potential (but probably low) subsidence hazard in this area.”

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