Colorado officials say the state has issued a record 276 permits this year for horizontal oil and gas drilling, a technique that companies say is making it possible to recover more resources.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says 439 horizontal-drilling permits have been issued in the past three years. Commission Executive Director David Neslin says about 60 percent of active rigs nationally are drilling horizontal wells.
In horizontal drilling, a deep vertical well is drilled, and then the bit moves horizontally to create a shaft parallel to the surface.
The Denver Post reports that horizontal wells have been permitted in 15 counties this year, with most focused in Weld, La Plata and Archuleta counties.