From Open Energy Information

< RAPID‎ | Roadmap

RAPIDRegulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit
My Projects

Colorado State Exploration (4-CO-a)

This flowchart illustrates the geothermal exploration process in Colorado.

As a matter of policy, all geothermal exploration, well construction, flow testing, production and reinjection mustbe conducted in a manner that will:

a. afford reasonable protection for human life and health and for the environment;
b. contain underground fluids to the reservoirs in which they occur with the exception of the producing reservoir; and,
c. prevent the waste of the geothermal resource.
(Geothermal Rules, Rule 5.1)

State Exploration Process

4-CO-a.1 - Is the Project on State Land Board Land?

Before any activity can take place on State Land Board-administered land, the developer must obtain a geothermal exploration lease from the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners. This lease can cover activities up to and including deep exploration test wells.

On private land the scheduling of activities is primarily controlled by the land owner and permitting required by local authorities.

(Geothermal Regulations in Colorado)

4-CO-a.2 - Initiate Geothermal Exploration Lease Process

Geothermal Lease:

4-CO-a.3 - Will Activity be Pre-Drilling Exploration or Exploration Drilling?

All well drilling associated with geothermal exploration and development requires permits from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. These permits and water use are the only regulatory activities that are the same on all types of land. (Geothermal Regulations in Colorado).

Pre-drilling exploration includes all exploration activity short of drilling wells, e.g., seismic, soil samples, mapping, etc.

4-CO-a.4 - Initiate Drilling and Well Development Process

Drilling and Well Development:

4-CO-a.5 - Check with Landowner/Local Authorities; Continue with Project

Private, non-drilling exploration activities will be permitted at the local level.

Add to Project

Contact Information


Edit Colorado Division of Water Resources
Geothermal Contact 303-866-3581 x8290 Visit Website