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Costs of increasing oil and gas setbacks are initially modest but rise sharply

Sean J. Ericson, Daniel Kaffine and Peter Maniloff

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 146, issue C

Abstract: Spatial setback rules are a common form of oil and gas regulation worldwide - they require minimum distances between oil and gas operations and homes and other sensitive locations. While setbacks can reduce exposure to potential harms associated with oil and gas production, they can also cause substantial quantities of oil and gas resources to be unavailable for extraction. Using both theoretical modeling and spatial analysis with GIS tools on publicly available data, we determine oil and gas resource loss under different setback distances, focusing on Colorado counties as a case study. We show that increasing setbacks results in small resource loss for setbacks up to 1500 feet, but resource loss quickly increases with longer setbacks. Approximately $4.5 billion in annual resource revenues would be lost in Colorado under 2500-foot setbacks, a distance recently proposed in Colorado Proposition 112 and California AB 345.

Keywords: Oil and gas; Energy policy; Energy economics; Setbacks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111749

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