2014 Winter Lecture Series


The Mix of Oil and Water in the

San Luis Valley


Oil and water composite

by Bob Kirkham

7 p.m. Thursday, February 20, 2014

Room 130 Porter Hall

Adams State University

Alamosa, CO

  The lecture will start with a description of where in San Luis Valley future oil and gas drilling and production may occur. This will include a summary of the geologic history of the San Luis Valley, because it affects where deposits of petroleum may or may not exist.

  Next up is a discussion about the techniques used for the drilling, casing, and hydraulic fracturing of petroleum wells, both vertical and horizontal wells. The volume of water needed to drill and "frack" petroleum wells will be covered, as well as the distance that the pressure-induced fractures can extend from the drill hole.

  This will be followed by a synopsis of the Rio Grande County hydrogeology study and its recommendations regarding oil and gas drilling and the protection of ground water aquifers. An update on the recently drilled First Liberty Basin #1 well on Old Woman Creek and the proposed Hughes San Francisco Creek #1 well comes at the end of the lecture.


About the Speaker

Bob Kirkham has lived in the San Luis Valley for over 30 years. He grew up in a small farm town in southern Illinois, and then received B.S and M.S. degrees in geology, the latter from the Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada at Reno. He is a certified professional geologist with nearly 40 years of experience, most of it in Colorado. He retired from the Colorado Geological Survey about 10 years ago and since then has worked as a consultant. Bob is one of the consultants who conducted the Rio Grande County hydrogeologic study.

The Colorado Field Institute is a nonprofit corporation organized in 2005 to promote greater stewardship of the natural and cultural resources within the San Luis Valley. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,