RAPID/Geothermal/Colorado/Exploration

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RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Colorado Geothermal Exploration Permitting(4-CO)

Pre-drilling Exploration

For pre-drilling exploration drilling on state land, developers must receive a Geothermal Exploration Lease from the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners. For exploration activities on private land, pre-drilling exploration activities are permitted at the local level. Pre-drilling exploration includes all exploration activity short of drilling wells, e.g., seismic, soil samples, mapping, etc.

Exploration Drilling

For exploration drilling on state land, developers must receive a Geothermal Exploration Lease from the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners and obtain a Geothermal Well permit from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. Geothermal Exploration Leases cover activities up to and including deep exploration test wells. The Geothermal Well permitting application process involves notice to landowners of adjacent property, payment of fees, notice to the Colorado Ground Water Commission if within a designated basin, and review by the Colorado Division of Water Resources under C.R.S. 37-90.5-106 and 2 CCR 402-10:6. Developers must follow the conditions of issued permit and minimum well construction standards set forth in 2 CCR 402-10:8 and 10:9).

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Colorado Federal

Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service
Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit: Before any pre-drilling exploration activity can take place on State Land Board-administered land, a Geothermal Exploration Lease is required from the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners. For exploration activities on private land, pre-drilling exploration activities are permitted at the local level. [1] Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009)
Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Colorado Division of Water Resources, Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners Bureau of Land Management
Drilling Exploration Permit: Before any exploration drilling activity can take place on State Land Board-administered land, a Geothermal Exploration Lease is required from the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners. In addition, well drilling associated with geothermal exploration and development requires permits from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. [2] Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009) (Temperature Gradient Well); Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002) (All other drilling activities)

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List of Reference Sources

  1. Paul Morgan. 2012. Geothermal Regulations in Colorado - Land Ownership is the Key. In: GRC Transactions. GRC Annual Meeting; 2012/09/30; Reno, Nevada. Davis, California: Geothermal Resources Council; p.
  2. Rules and Regulations for Permitting the Development and Appropriation of Geothermal Resources Through the Use of Wells (2004).
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