From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 2 - April 7, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Jonah deadline looms

by Cat Urbigkit

The public comment period for the Jonah infill drilling project environmental impact statement is quickly approaching, with comments due April 12 to the Bureau of Land Management office in Pinedale.

The EIS examines the impact of a variety of development scenarios encompassing 10 alternatives and including the operator’s proposal and the BLM’s preferred alternative.

The operators include EnCana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. and BP America Production Company as well as other natural gas operators.

This is an “infill” drilling project, meaning it is full field development that will occur within an existing industrial area.

EnCana maintains that the existing Jonah Field is a world-class resource involving natural gas concentrations 20 to 25 times greater than most other prolific fields and questions, “If not here, where?”

The company also maintains that the BLM’s preferred alternative does not allow sufficient surface disturbance to recover the gas resource.

“The BLM’s preferred alternative could result in the waste of between 750 billion cubic feet and 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas,” an EnCana release stated. “The amount of natural gas waste estimated under the BLM preferred alternative would, by itself, be equivalent to a top-ranking Wyoming gas field.”

EnCana’s position is that the BLM is wasting 750 billion cubic feet of gas (about $3.5 billion with today’s gas prices) in order to protect about 5,500 acres of sagebrush from disturbance within the existing 30,000-acre Jonah Field.

The operators seek authorization from the BLM to drill about 3,100 new wells on up to 16,200 acres of new surface disturbance during the development phase.

To comment on the Jonah project, contact the BLM at:

Jonah Infill Drilling Project

BLM Pinedale Field Office

P.O. Box 768

Pinedale, WY 82941


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