Experts speak at Northwest Oil and Gas Forum

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GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. The future of oil and gas development was again the topic on the Western Slope, Thursday. A forum was held in Rifle, to update residents in the northwest on the industry. Several key experts in the industry came to talk about its impacts in Garfield County.

In 2012, Colorado's oil production had it's highest level since 1961 with production exceeding 48 million barrels. Weld County had the highest number of drilling permits in the state with 62%. Meanwhile, Garfield County claimed the 2nd highest at 20%. In total, Garfield County has more than 10,000 active wells.

Director of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), Matt Lepore, "It's important for us, always as the regulatory agency, the industry, the community, the local governments all to have an opportunity to sit down to talk about issues."

Lepore talked about a proposed COGCC rule about spill reporting requirements. In the last legislative session, he said a bill passed that required operators to report spills of one barrel or greater if the spill leaves containment. Now, the COGCC has drafted rules to implement that. The next oil and gas forum will be February 27th in Grand Junction, but a location hasn't been picked yet.

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