BLM to Initiate Environmental Impact Statement for Converse County Oil and Gas Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Casper Field Office (CFO) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Douglas Ranger District (DRD) are seeking public comment on a proposed oil and natural gas development project in Converse County, Wyoming. The BLM published a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in the Federal Register on May 16, 2014, which opens a 45-day public scoping period.
 

The BLM is the lead agency to prepare the EIS. The USFS is participating as a cooperating agency. Amendments to the BLM Casper Resource Management Plan and the USFS Thunder Basin National Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan may be necessary. Impacts are expected to exceed analysis thresholds set within the current planning documents.
 

Anadarko Petroleum Company, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, RKI Exploration and Production, Samson Resources, and SM Energy propose to drill approximately 5,000 oil and natural gas wells in Converse County in an area encompassing approximately 1.5 million acres over a 10-year period. The proposed project area is located on approximately 88,000 surface acres (six percent of the project area) and 965,000 subsurface mineral acres (64 percent of the project area) which are public lands administered by the BLM CFO. The USFS DRD manages approximately 64,000 acres of surface (four percent of the project area). The remainder of the project area consists of State of Wyoming (seven percent) and private surface (83 percent) and mineral ownership (36 percent or 537,000 acres).
 

The project would be developed using directional, vertical, horizontal and other drilling techniques, as well as oil and gas production infrastructure including: well pads, roads, pipelines, power lines, compressor and electrical substations, and ancillary facilities such as water supply wells and water disposal facilities. The project proponents have requested full-season exceptions (year-round drilling) to multiple timing limitation restrictions which serve to protect several wildlife species in the area.
 

Project information and documents will be posted on the website at:  http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/cfo/Converse_County_Oil_and_Gas.html.
 

To provide an opportunity to review the proposal and project information, the BLM will host public meetings in Casper, Douglas and Glenrock, Wyoming. Meeting dates, times and locations will be announced at least 15 calendar days prior to any scheduled meeting through the press and on the BLM project website.
 

Public input is valuable early in the process and will enable the BLM to develop a well-informed EIS. Comments should be received by June 30, 2014. Written comments may be emailed to:   blm_wy_casper_wymail@blm.gov or mailed to: Bureau of Land Management, Casper Field Office, and Attn:  Mike Robinson, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604. For more information, contact Mike Robinson at 307-261-7520.
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