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Date:  April 28, 2008
Contact:  Mary Apple (406) 896-5258

BLM Begins Scoping on Seismic Proposal

The BLM Billings Field Office is asking the public to identify issues and concerns associated with a proposal to conduct a seismic survey in Carbon County, Montana. Fidelity Exploration & Production Company, based in Denver, has filed a Notice of Intent to conduct a 3-D geophysical survey of 13,790 acres of federal land approximately five miles south of Belfry, Montana. The project also includes 3,096 acres of private land and 1,328 acres of state land. The company proposes to complete the exploration in the summer/fall of 2008.

The BLM is in the process of scoping to determine what issues and concerns should be considered in the environmental review.  Public comments will be used to determine the appropriate level of review and determine whether impacts for the proposal would be considered significant.

The proposal calls for seismic testing along 40 source lines with a shot hole every 311 feet along each line.  Drilling buggies would be used on flatter terrain while “heliportable” drills would be used on the roughest areas.   Drill operators would walk or be flown by helicopter between holes. Shot holes would be plugged according to Montana Oil and Gas Commission standards. Vehicles would be limited to existing roads and trails and no off-road traffic would be permitted with the exception of the buggy drills in suitable terrain and limited use of all-terrain vehicles for troubleshooting equipment. 

For more detailed information or to view a map of the project area, please visit the Billings Field Office website at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office.html or contact Jim Sparks at the BLM, Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101; by phone at 406-896-5013; or by email at MT_Billings_Fo@blm.gov.  Please reference the Fidelity Exploration project in the subject field.  Issues and concerns should be submitted by May 28, 2008, to be considered in the environmental review.