AURORA, Colo.—Anadarko Petroleum Corp. can lease $9.5 million in used water from Aurora for oil and gas drilling over five years under a deal approved by city councilors.
The council voted 8-3 on Monday in favor of the deal, The Aurora Sentinel reported.
Anadarko will get water that has already been used and treated and would otherwise flow down the South Platte River.
The company wants to use about 30,000 barrels of water a day for its operations in Wattenberg Field in northeastern Colorado, company spokesman John Christiansen said.
Fracking boosts the productivity of oil and gas wells by cracking open deposits with water and chemicals mixed with sand, which are pumped into the wells at high pressure.
The deal was negotiated in closed session in June, and Monday was the first time the public was able to comment. Four people spoke in favor, including Kevin Hougen, president of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s an amazing financial offer for us to use our used water as an asset,” Hougen said.
About 35 people, including those who have previously spoken against fracking, opposed the deal. Some were worried about the environmental impacts of fracking and others thought the city’s water should be saved for use by its residents when water supplies are tight.
“I don’t want to know in 10 years that someone in my family has cancer or something else because it was more important to make a dollar selling this water to this company,” said Zully Salazar of Denver.
Aurora is only leasing the water to Anadarko because, under Colorado water law, the city would lose its rights to the water if it was sold to the company.
Information from: The Aurora Sentinel, http://www.aurorasentinel.com/
Read more: Aurora council OKs lease for water for fracking – The Denver Post