Mapping project shows heavy oil, gas leasing in Arapahoe County

Arapahoe CountyBy Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – February 17, 2015

Arapahoe County is a checkerboard of oil and gas leases and rights — with holdings adjacent to schools, parks and housing developments, according to an analysis by Conservation Colorado.

The nonprofit environmental group used county property records and data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to plot leases and rights on maps.

The maps “bring home that this heavy industrial activity can occur anywhere,” executive director Peter Maysmith said.

The eastern, less-developed part of the county is almost all leased by oil and gas companies, the maps show. In the west, a patchwork of leases and mineral rights underlie 41 schools and abut Greenwood Village, Cherry Creek Reservoir and the Aurora Hills Golf Course, according to the maps.

“While not every lease will be developed, the fact these leases were so recently filed and that the oil and gas industry owns the mineral rights under so much of Arapahoe County is clearly a warning sign for elected officials and residents,” said Colorado Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora.

The two biggest lease and rights holders are the Anadarko Petroleum Corp., based in The Woodlands, Texas, and Houston-based ConocoPhillips.

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