5,000-well oil and gas field approved in eastern Wyoming

Oil Drill
Oil Drill(KFYR)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 12:22 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. officials have approved a 5,000-well oil and gas project spread across more than 2,300 square miles in eastern Wyoming. Five major oil and gas companies proposed the development between Glenrock and Douglas that has stirred concern over its massive size and plans to drill year-round.

Wednesday’s approval from the Bureau of Land Management finalizes the development plan, but actual construction will require separate approvals. Federal officials say the oil and gas field would create more than 8,000 jobs and between $18 billion and $28 billion in revenue. A previous government study noted that the project calls for exemptions to operate in sage grouse and raptor habitat.

The following releases were released from the Petroleum Association of Wyoming and Governor Mark Gordon on the BLM’s decision:

Governor Mark Gordon commended the Record of Decision (ROD) announced today by the Bureau of Land Management for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project. The ROD allows the development of up to 5,000 new oil and natural gas wells within a 1.5 million-acre project area over the life of the project.

“This ROD is the culmination of years of work between the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other State of Wyoming agencies, my office, and the oil and gas industry,” Governor Gordon said. “It establishes what has been my goal from the beginning– to provide actual year-round drilling opportunities. Providing companies the flexibility to make long-term, consistent plans that are not limited by a blanket drilling window makes a big difference in cost and efficiency. This ROD sets the framework for hundreds of jobs for Wyoming and ensures proper safeguards for the protection of our wildlife in the project area. It is an example that oil and gas operations and wildlife can and do co-exist in Wyoming.”

A copy of the Record of Decision and other project documents and maps are available online at https://go.usa.gov/xGwwB.

Petroleum Association of Wyoming President Pete Obermueller welcomed the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement today that the Converse County EIS Record of Decision has been signed. After nearly a decade of environmental review resulting in thousands of pages of documentation, the BLM has determined the project can move forward.

“Given the extensive review that has gone into this decision over the last eight years, we welcome the BLM’s decision to approve the Converse County EIS. This record of decision is proof that natural gas and oil development can happen in balance with the need to protect our natural resources and wildlife. As the current pandemic subsides and global demand for petroleum products returns, today’s decision will position Wyoming to capitalize - bringing jobs to east central Wyoming and much needed revenues into state coffers.”

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