From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 36 - December 5, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Operators want 20-acre well spacing

by Cat Urbigkit

When the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission meets next week in Casper, it will determine whether to allow several natural gas companies to increase the well density in the Jonah natural gas field located south of Highway 351.

This state regulatory agency decides the best means to develop gas resources, but because the Jonah Field is located on Bureau of Land Management-administered lands, the federal agency must determine the surface impacts from such development because of an increased well density in the area .

Pinedale BLM Assistant Field Manager Eldon Allison confirmed that several of the natural gas operators in the Jonah field have decided to seek an increased well density, prompting the need for an in-depth look at the environmental impacts.

Allison said his agency has just initiated an environmental impact statement process for the increased well density proposal.

"The EIS will cover the entire Jonah Field area," Allison said, adding that the scoping phase of the EIS process should be underway by March 2003.

The operators want to go to one well per 20 acres, Allison confirmed.

In 1998, the BLM issued its record of decision for the Jonah II Field, allowing 80-acre well spacing, or a density of eight well locations per square mile. In June 2000, the BLM approved a doubling of the density to 16 wells per section, or 40-acre spacing, but only in about half of the original 60,000-acre Jonah II project area.

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