Proposed Wyoming gas field would be one of the largest on the planet

This image, taken from GoogleEarth, shows the heart of the Jonah Field, which, compared to this proposed project had roughly one-third the number of wells approved.

This GoogleEarth image shows the heart of the Jonah Field, which, compared to this proposed project had roughly one-third the number of wells approved. While the Jonah has more well pads relative to wells (on roughly 30,000 acres), the Continental Divide-Creston project will cover more than 1 million acres.

Let’s speak up before March 6 to help protect residents, workers, and the environment

By Bruce Pendery

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of Land Management is analyzing a mammoth, 9,000-well natural gas drilling project proposed in south-central Wyoming near Wamsutter.

Called the Continental Divide-Creston project, it would be one of the largest single natural gas field developments in the United States.

We are asking for your help to reduce the environmental impacts of this project as much as possible. Please send your comments to the BLM by March 6! (See below)

Our biggest concern—and what we are focusing on the most—is making sure this project is done right relative to air quality. This development needs to be conducted in such a way that residents and workers are safe and can breathe clean air, and that the air, land, and wildlife, stays healthy in the future.


This Proposed Project Will Be Bigger than Rhode Island

The BLM would allow BP America Production Company and other operators to drill up to 8,950 new wells. The project area would include 1.1 million acres—or more than 1,600 square miles—much of which would be in what’s known as the “railroad checkerboard.” And much of this proposed project would involve “infill” of existing natural gas fields where 4,400 wells have already been drilled.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council does not oppose development in this area outright because it is not located in one our “heritage landscapes” (iconic areas where we believe any energy development is inappropriate) and it is largely an “infill” project where there is already a lot of existing disturbance.

However, although much of this area is far from pristine, we need to do everything we can to ensure that companies “do it right” at every stage of this project’s development. Therefore, we believe the BLM should require careful, effective, environmentally protective measures as conditions to the development in order to protect residents, workers, air quality, and remaining wildlife habitats.

 


How to Make a Difference

The BLM has prepared a draft environmental analysis, called an “environmental impact statement” for this project. It considers five alternative development options but it does not specify a “preferred alternative.”

The BLM is now accepting comments on this draft analysis. The comment deadline is March 6. It would be very helpful if you could offer your input on the draft. This could help improve the project, and help ensure that we “do it right” in the face of this massive level of development.

Here are some issues you might consider raising in your comments:

  • While much of this project is in the “railroad checkerboard”—where the BLM’s ability to protect the environment is reduced because of the intervening privately owned sections of land—the project area extends into large, contiguous blocks of public land roughly 20 miles north and south of Interstate 80. You can ask the BLM to provide enhanced protection for these contiguous areas of public lands.
  • The Directional Drilling alternative is the most environmentally protective of the current alternatives, so please ask the BLM to adopt it. This alternative would be even more effective if the BLM were to set a limit on the number of well pads that can be developed.
  • Directional Drilling has become increasingly common and popular with industry with the horizontal “reach” of these wells becoming ever greater. Having multiple wells drilled from a single well pad with directional drilling to access gas resources at great distances can greatly reduce environmental impacts. You can ask the BLM to maximize the use of directional drilling, and to require the greatest “reach” possible.

 


Where to Send Comments:

You can submit your comments to the BLM by March 6 by e-mail: Continental_Divide_Creston_WYMail@blm.gov, or fax: 307-328-4224, or by regular mail: Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins Field Office, P.O. Box 2407, Rawlins, WY 82301.

You can view the draft environmental impact statement here: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/field_offices/Rawlins.html.

For more information contact Bruce Pendery at the Wyoming Outdoor Council, 435-752-2111, or bruce@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org.

Posted in *All posts, Public Health & Environmental Quality, Public Lands & Wildlife Tagged with: , , ,
17 comments on “Proposed Wyoming gas field would be one of the largest on the planet
  1. Eadie Kelly says:

    This is a travesty.

  2. Richard Knopf says:

    The massive scope of this proposal is disturbing. Please act to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible. Better yet, stop the project.

  3. Vicki Stacy says:

    Please stop this madness of ruining our natural Resourses, leaving such a horrific legacy. With all this money you can afford to live in a protected area, while you destroy what citizens have loved and lived in for decades. And for what.

  4. Jeff Mikesell says:

    We do not need this greed to be on BLM land. When will thi insanity stop?

  5. Timothy James says:

    Dear responsible parties at Bureau of Land Management,

    You had better not let the oil/gas companies rape our land for another generation. Do your part!!! You’d better get your apology statement ready for your grand children’s children because if we let this horror continue our planet is going to respond with a bite. Earthquake much? Reincarnation? Quality of life much? Do you like contaminated well drinking water, oh and dead wildlife which sustains the biodiversity on this little planet WE CALL HOME?

    Sincerely,

    Tim

  6. Antonette Simmering says:

    I guess we will never stop destroying the planet on which we live until we all die because we have no more clean water to drink

  7. sara says:

    Please don’t allow this to happen. This will absolutely destroy this beautiful land.

  8. elizabeth riebschlaeger says:

    you have to be kidding. from the eagle ford shale of texas.your organization must be a front for gas and oil companies. change your name to reflect your real identity.

  9. elizabeth riebschlaeger says:

    your organization must be a front for gas and oil companies. change your name to reflect your real identity.

  10. Howard Jones says:

    I am 100% in favor of this project. Those of you who so vocally object should shut off your heat and live in the dark.

    This type of development is both reasonable and responsible.

  11. Carl Arnold says:

    “help ensure that we ‘do it right’ ” ??

    Surely you know by now that it’s impossible to “do it right” — that there’s no safe way to frack. Hard empirical experience and a growing body of peer-reviewed scientific literature all attest to this.

    Any further development of fossil and nuclear fuels hastens global warming and reduces funding for renewables, conservation and efficiency.

    Stop equivocating. State what you want and what we all need: no more development of fossil and nuclear fuels. Develop only those technologies that will enable us to hopefully make the transition to a sustainable, carbon-free society.

  12. lisa says:

    We ALL need to stop suckin’ the grid dry via our choices. The only alternative is to get the population down, and/or ration ourselves from consumming so much from what is a finite source. There seems to be a lack of Reasoning capability.

  13. Claire Finley says:

    Please reduce the size of the well sites. You must think we are all a bunch of tree huggers but I live in Wayne New Jersey . The amount of superfund sites we have is crazy. Please look carefully at the process. All of the chemicals are not reclaimed and people properties can be destroyed forever.

  14. Diana Grazia says:

    This is insane. Nothing like ruining our environment with yet another big gas land project. Big profits for the owners, but ruined land and water for the rest of the people. There are better ways, but seems far too many don’t care if environment is totally ruined.

  15. Mark Woolsey says:

    When will this be ENOUGH mininig for fossil fuels!? We already have PLENTY of alternative fuel technology from geo-thermal and solar ALONE, to stem the tide FOREVER from fossil fuel extraction being realistic…

  16. Mark Koleszar says:

    I am amazed at the seemingly endless amount of Natural Gas that is claimed to be “needed” for our world’s industrialized society to exist. Are other “gases” or “substances” being separated from the “wet gas” that are of greater value than the gas itself?

  17. Amber Wilson says:

    Some wise words: “The real people of the West are infrequently cowboys and never myths. They live in places like Denver and Salt Lake, Dillon and Boise, American Fork and American Falls, and they confront the real problems of real life in a real region, and have gone some distance toward understanding the conditions of western life and accepting the agencies that have been slowly created to meet them. But those who live by the myth, or pretend to, have never admitted that they live in a land of little rain and big consequences. Whether they are resisting the gift of Grand Teton National Monument from the Rockefellers to the people of the United States, or maneuvering for the transfer of grazing, timber, oil, or mineral lands from national parks and forests to the state and ultimately to private ownership for the quick profit of a few, they represent the survival of a gospel that left to its own devices would already have reduced the West to a desert as barren as Syria.”
    ~Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water

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