From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 33 - November 11, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

BLM signs mitigation decision record

Wyoming Bureau of Land Management approved a proposal from Questar Exploration and Development Company (Questar) to conduct year-round drilling in the Pinedale Anticline area. Implementing the decision will significantly reduce currently authorized human activity impacts and surface disturbance in crucial mule deer winter range and greater sage-grouse habitats.

Pinedale Field Office Manager Priscilla E. Mecham signed the Decision Record, on Nov. 9.

“We coordinated closely with the Wyoming Governor’s Office, the Wyoming Game and Fish and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality on this proposal to develop a decision that provides a long-term benefit to deer and sage-grouse habitat,” Mecham said. “This is a model of cooperation between state and federal agencies, working together for the coexistence of energy development and wildlife needs.”

Mecham added that the Pinedale Anticline Working Group, a citizen’s advisory group, reviewed the Questar proposal, providing guidance and recommendations. Drilling year-round offers several benefits including reducing by up to half the number of years required to fully develop the lease; reducing the total number of well pads from 150 to 61, and eliminating approximately 25,000 tanker truck trips annually during peak production. Questar has proposed to spend approximately $210 million in mitigation implementation.

The Questar drilling proposal would begin in the winter of 2004-2005 and continue for nine years. Questar proposed to construct a 107-mile long 6 inch-diameter pipeline to transport condensate and to coordinate the winter-drilling well pad locations with BLM and the WG&F; they will bus work crews to and from the winter pads to minimize traffic in the winter; they will utilize low emission engines on all their drilling rigs by 2007; and will implement habitat enhancement in a non-productive portion of their leasehold.

BLM’s decision is to allow the proposed action beginning in 2005-2006 after mitigation is in place. BLM will allow Questar to drill one pad during the winter of 2004-2005 to support ongoing winter drilling research.

For information, contact Carol Kruse in the Pinedale BLM Office at (307) 367-5352.

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