Thursday, May 3, 2012

Windsor Fracking Blowout - Ranchers Exploration Cease and Desist [Retta J 1 Documents] 2 of 2

May 2, 2011
Windsor, CO
Source: COGCC
All data submitted by: Shane Davis

Ranchers Exploration LLC Unsatisfactory Inspections and CEASE & DESIST


"Came to location to do a rig inspection and stormwater management inspection. I found that
they were still in the process of rigging up on the drilling rig. It had been re-built and
required some modifications.

I did a walk around of the location and found that the onlyBMP's in place for stormwater was
a silt fence that had been compromised and a berm that partially covered the north and east
side of the location. thee were some bails set aside for possible noise mitigation. I did a
walk around with Greg Hovivian -the company representative and talked about the lack of
secondary containment on sewage, chemicals,rig oils, and the inadequacy of BMP's for
stormwater management. He asked me to wait and talk to Mell Richards who was on the
way. I talked to Mell Richards--who told me that they would provide storm water BMP's after
they drilled the well --and the Owner of the drilling rig. I told him that was not an option.
There were others who joined on the walk around. I discussed the same issues as I had
previously addressed. He said that they would have a stormwater person review the
problem and make corrections If necessary, We had some conversations from the drilling
representative that he thought I was being to forceful and acted like I was being very
aggressive. I appologized and said that I am concerned that there will be problems with
stormwater issues and that we have already had complaints. He said that the people I was
talking to had limited experience in drilling in Colorado. I told him that that was incorrect as I
had already worked with Mell on the Rocky Flats Wells. I told tham I would be back to
observe their operation."

"On April 25 2012 I went to location to find out if the operator had provided any BMP's to the
wellsite to deal with Storm Water management. I requested a copy of the Storm water
management plan. I noted that there Rocks placed in front and in back of the culvert Drain.
However, the drain emptied directly into the silt fence. There was no lined secondary
containment under the sewage containment or under the drilling chemicals. There was no
cover on the machine oils and what ditching was placed around the drilling rig had not been
joined, nor completed. I also noted that there was no lined secondary containment around
the diesel tank for the rig. No tracking had been placed on any of the exposed grades
surrounding the drilling site. Ditches had been dug for drainage, but there was no berm
containment to the wellsite, nor was there any BMP's to deal with inevitable erosion on the
sides of the wellsite. I noticed that the driller had been drilling with a larger bit to attempt to
set a conductor pipe and the water loss to the drilling practice had initiated subsidance to
the rig sub structure. The Rig Manager had a redi-mix truck placing concrete around the sub
structure to attempt to control subsidance. They were going to WOC before continuing to
drill. I asked if they had permitted for a conductor and informed the drilling foreman
representing Ranchers to contact Diana Burns to see what paper work was required for a
conductor pipe. The drilling Manager told me they were going to set a 42 foot casing as
they believed they had about 40 feet of trash to clear before they would have control of the
wellbore. I observed trash in the cuttings pile off the shaker that had come up from the initial
drill. I do not know how deep they had drilled at that time, but I estimate it was 6 to 8 feet as
I observed the hole. I noticed that there was some sound mitigation on the west side slope
of the location, but noticed that there was not enough room on the east side to safely
mitigate sound. I told the drilling manager that I did not want anyone endangered with bales
as there was only about eight feet to the edge of the location on the east side. I told they I
would be back to observe the operation."

"I Reviewed the information on the afternoon of 4-26-2012 with Margaret Ash. Discussed
issues of subsidance, lost circulation issues, trash showing up off the shaker table, Lack of
BMP's for storm water management. Margaret reviewed the docuements showing required
contacts with the county reagarding abnornal drilling issues. Confered with The acting
COGCC commissioner, Tom Kerr about the same issues and we collectively decided to
issue a " Cease and Decist " of all drilling activites until further notice.

I called the drilling foreman and ordered a cease and decist. The foreman said he had to leave on emergency family business and made a call to Mell Fisher. Mr. Fisher called me back at approximately 6:15 PM and wanted to know what was going on. I told him that I was giving him a verbal "Cease and Decist" order approved by the Acting Director and such order would be followed up with a wriitten order on the following day. I explained that the COGCC was concerned
about the anomalies on the drilling location and reminded him that Ranchers had agreed to
contact the county if there were any unusual drilling issues. He replied that He was not an
officer of the company only a consultant and that I would be talking to his lawyer soon."

"I was Contacted by Tom Kerr on 4/27/2012 and asked to check on the Retta J-1 and make
sure that Ranchers had ceased all drilling operations. I went to location and found that the
Drilling rig was drilling a pilot hole as a preliminary operation to using a larger bit to set a conductor pipe. I spoke directly to the drilling operation manager and informed him that I
had issued a verbal "CEASE and DECIST" for all drilling operations on the preceding
afternoon. He told me that he had not been contacted by the operator and was proceeding
to drill ahead. He had turn keyed portions of the well. He was using a smaller bit as a pilot
hole and had already drilled to about 40 feet. He asked if he could go ahead and bury the
kelley. I told him no, he was to cease all drilling operations until further notice. He asked me
if I could write him up something so he could call his office, I told him I would do so and
hand wrote a "Cease and Decist" order. In my haste, I misidentified the date as 3/27/2012
instead of 4/27/2012. We both signed the document and he gave me a copy of what he
received. He asked if he could take the time to shut down his pumps safely, and i told him
that it was acceptable and to do nothing that endangered the safety of his crew. He hung
the bit and the operation was ceased. I noted that there was still trash that had come up
over his shaker table even with the smaller bit, and there was a lot of Lost circulation
materiial that had also come across the shaker table. I then called the main office to notify
them of the situation. I was unable to reach anyone immediately, but notified people as they
returned my phone call."




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