From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 45 - February 2, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Comments on Noble Basin wells accepted till Feb. 13

by Bill Boender

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management held a joint public hearing in Bondurant Monday evening, Jan. 30, to provide information and take public comments regarding the proposal to drill up to three exploratory wells in the Noble Basin. This is the first effort to determine feasibility of production in the 19,427-acre South Rim Unit, which includes Forest Service and BLM Land as well as private property. All mineral rights in the area are managed by the BLM. The unit encompasses all of the Hoback Ranches Subdivision.

About a dozen concerned property owners in Hoback Ranches attended to express concerns about the project and its potential impact on their property and the surrounding area.

Greg Clark, district ranger for the Big Piney Ranger District, chaired the discussion and responded to questions from those in attendance. Clark advised that the leases in this area were issued nearly 10 years ago when there were very few full-time residents in Hoback Ranches. At that time, there were no objections to the leasing that were considered significant enough to prevent issuing.

Clark noted that the lease owners have both the right and the responsibility to develop the potential of these leases. The Forest Service and BLM will oversee development to minimize impact and see that any significant issues are addressed in the environmental impact statement, which is expected to be available in draft form in September 2006 with the final version due in May 2007.

Plains Exploration and Production Company personnel in attendance assured the protesters that they have extensive experience in production in sensitive areas. Much of their production is in highly populated areas of California and in coastal waters. This will be Plains' first venture into the Wyoming fields.

Clark also advised those attending that, in his 18 years in the district, only two small fields have been active on the national forest. More than 100 exploratory wells have been drilled and abandoned in that time.

Clark advised that public comments will be accepted until Feb. 13, 2006, and should be mailed to his office at P.O. Box 218, Big Piney, Wyo., 83113.

See The Archives for past articles.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Sublette Examiner
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
Sublette Examiner, PO Box 1539, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3203