, November 6, 2014 – Aurora Sentinel
AURORA | Porscha Hicks-Plant squinted at the multiple layers of steel casing and cement that surround a drill pipe as it plunges thousands of feet below the surface.
As she started to ask a question about the display in front of her, she was interrupted by a young girl tugging impatiently at her shawl.
Hicks-Plant lives with her husband and three daughters in the Adonea subdivision near Interstate 470 and Sixth Avenue Parkway in Aurora. She attended an open house meeting at Murphy Creek Tavern hosted by ConocoPhillips in October to try to understand how a well site 1,700 feet from her neighborhood would impact the neighborhood where she’s lived for two and a half years.
“I feel like I want to sell my house,” she said, worried what a nearby operating well would do to her home value, and how her quality of life would be impacted. “What will that do to the water around us? There are just so many unknowns.”
Von Henderson, a completion supervisor with ConocoPhillips, answered her questions regarding the safety of her drinking water, explaining the pipe goes thousands of feet below the surface of any city aquifer. But he couldn’t tell her exactly where that drill pipe was going. “Right now we’re in the appraisal phase. What we’re doing is we’re checking different parts of the field,” he explained.
According to Karl Fennessey, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips, the company is in the exploration phase of a potentially oil-rich Niobrara shale formation. Most of the 130,000 net acres ConocoPhillips leases mineral rights on is located in Adams and Arapahoe Counties, and that shale formation is located 7,500 feet below the surface.