Oil & Gas Development


Thornton is seeing increased oil and gas development activities on a larger scale than previously experienced. City Council is committed to minimizing the negative impact of these large scale developments on the community and protecting public health, safety, and the environment.

Current Proposals 

Pioneer Water Pipeline Operator Agreement 

At the January 10, 2022 Council Meeting, Council will consider an Operator Agreement allowing Pioneer Water Pipeline, LLC to construct approximately 4 miles of pipeline within the City's boundaries for the purposes of transporting produced water from oil and gas well sites in unincorporated areas to a disposal facility in Weld County. The primary purpose of the pipeline is to eliminate impacts that would result from trucks that would otherwise be required to transport the produced water. City Council was provided an update on the progress of the proposal at the December 6, 2022 Planning Session.

Approximately 19 miles of the proposed pipeline route is located within Adams County and the operator previously received approval of a Development Agreement by the Adams County Board of County Commissioners on September 1, 2020. 

Washington Pad Operator Agreement 

At the November 29, 2022 Council Meeting, Council approved an Operator Agreement with Extraction Oil and Gas, Inc. [PDF/2.2MB], a wholly owned subsidiary of Civitas Resources, Inc. which allows the development of the Washington Pad oil and gas operation generally located southeast of the I-25 and E-470 Interchange.  This Operator Agreement provides the regulatory framework for how findings of compliance and authorization will be made and does not constitute a finding of compliance with the standards, or authorization to begin construction. The negotiated terms within the Operator Agreement are more protective of public, health, safety, welfare, and the environment as the protections afforded by the requirements and standards of the City’s oil and gas regulations.

Oil and Gas Regulations

In 2017, the City of Thornton adopted new regulations on oil and gas developments.  The regulations can be found here: