University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

Spotlight: Antero Resources and the Rifle, Silt, New Castle Community Development Plan (RSNC-CDP)

Antero is a signatory to the Rifle, Silt, New Castle Community Development Plan (RSNC-CDP), a joint industry-community project addressing concerns expressed by the community and establishing a framework by which both operators and the community can continue to work in a collaborative partnership.

The RSNC-CDP encourages “clustered development”—placing the maximum amount of drilling activity on a minimum number of drilling pads in order to centralize infrastructure and minimize surface disruption and impact to landowners and the natural environment. The RSNC-CDP can be found at BMP ID 6220.

Antero’s Piceance Basin operations employ the following consolidated facilities BMPs:

  • Multi-well pads: Antero drills multiple wells from a single, two-acre drilling site.
  • Common corridors: Guideline #3 of the RSNC-CDP says that operators should “locate production corridors for gas gathering and transportation pipelines as well as water and or fluid disposal pipelines, placing as many lines as possible in the same trench or corridor in order to minimize area impact.”

Benefits of clustered development include:

  • Allowing the operator to realize economies of scale from a reduction in pad numbers, roads, and other infrastructure;
  • Reduced impacts on agricultural land, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic environmental qualities; and
  • Minimized light, noise, odor, traffic, and other disturbances to landowners.

The RSNC-CDP lists the following as benefits of planning clustered development with community involvement:

  • Fewer roads, pipelines and drilling pads that impact agricultural, private land and landowners
  • Reduced landowner conflicts
  • Fewer surface owner agreements to negotiate
  • Reduced expense to industry to construct pads, gathering lines, roads and other infrastructure
  • Reduced numbers of compressor stations are required to move gas into gas transportation pipelines
  • Reduced traffic and road maintenance costs
  • Increased ability for inspection and oversight of activities
  • Possibility of bussing workers to the site, further reducing traffic on rural roads
  • Reduced need for electrical transmission lines and their construction costs
  • Potential to pipe water to or from the drilling site to reduce truck traffic