Mesa County Commissioners Re-approve Possible Oil Shale Project

Mesa County Commissioners today granted an extension of a decades–old conditional use permit to build a water pumping station near Debeque.

Chevron Oil Company wants to ensure they maintain a presence in emerging oil shale development. The conditional use permit allows the company to keep its' water rights as well as the option of building a station near Debeque that would pump Colorado River water to a proposed reservoir in Garfield County. The reservoir would be built near the confluence of Roan Creek and Dry Fork Creek several miles northwest of the small town.

If built, the dam would create a 75–thousand acre–foot lake roughly estimated to be one–hundred feet deep, two and one–half miles long, and one–half mile wide. The privately-owned lake is not expected to be open to the public.

Any oil shale development for the company is likely years away, but if oil shale production become economically feasible the company wants to maintain its' water rights, according to a Mesa County planner.

A series of public hearings would be required in both Mesa and Garfield Counties before Chevron could do any development of either the pumping station or reservoir projects.