Shell's Bid For Yampa River Water Spurs Opposition

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Shell oil's request for water rights from the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado has prompted formal objections from Federal, State and Local Agencies, Businesses and Environmental Groups.

Shell applied on December 30 in State Water Court to use about 8% of the peak spring flow from the Yampa, Colorado's last river with unclaimed water.

The water would be shipped to a reservoir for later use in oil shale production. The Denver Post reports that many of the letters of opposition are seeking more information. The Colorado River Conservation District wants more details about the effects on in-state water compacts.

Other objections were filed by a coal company, a power company, an agricultural irrigation company and the cross mountain ranch hunting resort.

Shell is experimenting with ways to tap the oil locked in rock. The company has said commercial oil shale development is likely a decade away. Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are thought to hold 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil in shale.

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