2015 Mineral Rights Leases Approved
(Current information as of Dec. 9, 2015) The following article and the attached background/fact sheet is intended to provide information concerning mineral leases the district signed in 2015.
On April 15, 2015, the district's Board of Education approved mineral leases under Century Middle School and Horizon High School. The Century lease was executed with Synergy Resources Corporation, and the Horizon lease is with Land Energy Inc. As of December 2015, neither company had applied for a permit to begin drilling. Drilling can't begin until companies are granted a permit from the COGCC.
The decision by the Board of Education to enter these lease agreements was in response to a request for mineral rights. The decision does not reflect support for the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) or of drilling in general. A few of the factors that were of primary importance in Board members’ decisions were:
- The Board of Education does not have legal authority to permit or deny the placement of oil wells. In 2015, the proposed surface drilling site for minerals under Century was located near 138th Avenue and Franklin Street, and the site for minerals under Horizon was 152nd Avenue and Monaco Street.
- The energy companies have legal authority to force the district into an arrangement called "forced pooling" should the district refuse to lease its minerals to them. Forced pooling poses negative financial impacts and liability risks to the district.
- The district's mineral rights share underneath Century Middle School and Horizon High School is small, and the energy companies indicated they would move forward with extraction with or without a lease agreement with the district.
Our district has and continues to study the above and below ground impacts of fracking so that we can understand its possible effects and can advocate for stringent safety measures and for conditions that will minimize impacts on our schools, staff and community, should the companies seek permits for drilling. We will provide input to the Adams County government should they enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the energy companies to lay out procedures around noise, lighting, traffic, water testing and other issues. The health, safety and learning environment of our students is our greatest concern.
We encourage residents with interest/concerns about proposed oil/gas activity to reach out to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 1120 Lincoln St #801, Denver, CO 80203, Phone: (303) 894-2100. If you have questions related to this article or the background/fact sheet, please call 720-972-4206.