From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 9 - May 24, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

BLM takes public on-site

by Tiffany Turner

The Pinedale Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a public on-site May 21 in the Stewart Point area.

Members and partners of the BLM, JFC Engineering and Surveying (JFC) and two Sublette County citizens were present to learn more about Ultra Petroleum’s (Ultra) proposal for the site.

“This is the site of the old Sherman Federal 15-A,” said Cally McKee, Ultra’s representative. “We are looking to do a minor expansion of this existing well and drill the proposed Stewart Point 10D1-18 well.”

The existing well is vertical and already has storage containers on it. McKee said Ultra planned to re-disturb the area, and remove all the storage currently there and replace it with new storage units. When finished, she said, the site would return roughly to its current condition.

The bottom hole proposed by Ultra is about a 1,200-foot reach from the pad site, and thus the new well will be directional. The location, north and east of the site, has been staked and is located in the midst of sagebrush and wildlife.

“We had proposed a location out there,” McKee said. “We decided it would be much more prudent to bring it back and drill off an existing pad.”

Part of the reason for the choice was that the area is in a Sensitive View shed area just outside of town.

“According to the Pinedale Anticline Project Area Record of Decision (PAPA-ROD), this is in the MA-4 Sensitive View shed,” said Merry Gamper of the Pinedale BLM. “We get a lot of public comment on this area.”

In addition to using a pre-existing pad, Ultra plans to use a sunken wellhead, meaning it will protrude from the ground no more than three feet.

“Ultra has been one of the leaders in installing them on their locations,” Gamper said.

“This helps a lot with the visual aesthetics,” said Rey Adame, Public Relations for BLM. “It really helps it blend better.”

According to JFC, the total ground disturbance for the project will be 3.6 acres with very little new disturbance. JFC and Ultra could not pinpoint the exact amount of new disturbance, but one citizen present found issue with it as part of the new disturbance is re-growth. He wished to see the re-growth salvaged.

“We will definitely scrape off and retain the topsoil,” McKee said. “We will blade at least the top six inches and store it in the corner.”

Gamper said they would be required to keep the topsoil wrapped and do interim seeding in order to keep the area natural looking. She said they would be following the curves of several mounds already naturally formed.

According to Gamper and Adame, this project could be underway as early as July.

“It depends on the public comment and its place on Ultra’s priority list,” Gamper said. “But we only have 10 days to approve it after they turn in their complete Application for Permit to Drill.”

Public comment for this project will end on June 1.

Comments may be submitted electronically to, referencing Stewart Point 10D1-8 in the subject line, or mailed to Merry Gamper, BLM Pinedale Field Office, P.O. Box 768, 1625 West Pine Street, Pinedale, WY 82941.

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