Oil and gas well application filed for near Rocky Flats

Staff report
Posted 11/7/18

An oil and gas company is asking for state permits to drill near a former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado, but it’s unclear whether any of the wells would extend under the site. Highlands Natural …

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Oil and gas well application filed for near Rocky Flats

Posted

An oil and gas company is asking for state permits to drill near a former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado, but it’s unclear whether any of the wells would extend under the site.

Highlands Natural Resources Corp., registered in the United Kingdom, submitted plans dated Oct. 12 for up to 31 wells in unspecified location near the former Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver.

Rocky Flats manufactured plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs. After a $7 billion cleanup, most of the site became a national wildlife refuge, but the central area where waste is buried is controlled by the U.S. Energy Department.

Other proposed developments, including a nearby planned toll road, and dirt trails on the Rocky Flats refuge itself has spawned criticism, protests and lawsuits from those worried about what buried contamination might be spread by such activity.

Highlands Natural Resources said its proposed drilling sites are outside the refuge but did not say whether any wells would use directional drilling techniques to reach under the site.

The company also recently released a statement announcing that it planned to submit applications for a total of 104 drilling sites across Colorado, ahead of the Nov. 4 general election where statewide ballot measure Proposition 112 could increase setback requirements for all new well sites.

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