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January 13, 2006
Contact: Mike Stiewig, 307-367-5363 
              Steven Hall, 307-775-6015
   

Pinedale BLM Releases Final EIS
for Jonah Infill Drilling Project Proposal

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Pinedale has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Jonah Infill Drilling Project today. This release opens the public comment period, which closes on Monday, Feb. 13, 2006. The Jonah Infill Drilling Project Area is located approximately 32 miles southeast of Pinedale and 28 miles northwest of Farson in south-central Sublette County, Wyoming.

Under the preferred alternative, the project is expected to produce nearly 8 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, providing enough natural gas to heat 96 million homes for a year and generate approximately $6.1 billion in royalties to be split between the federal treasury and the State of Wyoming. The total economic activity from natural gas and oil will generate approximately $30.5 billion over the life of the project.

“The preferred alternative for the Jonah Infill Drilling Project provides a crucial domestic source of natural gas while minimizing the impacts of development through on-site reclamation, off-site mitigation and incentives to minimizing development’s footprint,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Bob Bennett. “This project will be a vital component of the Wyoming and national economy for years to come.”

As part of the preferred alternative, the BLM is considering an interagency project office that would monitor reclamation efforts and oversee off-site mitigation projects.

This off-site mitigation and project office will be funded by EnCana USA, Inc, which has pledged $1.1 million to begin mitigation projects and fund a staff of four employees representing the BLM, the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept., the Wyoming Dept. of Environmental Quality and the Wyoming Dept. of Agriculture. This interagency team will oversee field monitoring and mitigation, both on- and off-site. Under the preferred alternative, EnCana would provide a total of $24.5 million to fund off-site mitigation and monitoring projects.

The Jonah Infill Drilling Project is an expansion of an existing drilling program in the Jonah Field as approved in the June 2000 Environmental Assessment Decision Record and the April 1998 Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision. Operators are Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., BP America and other natural gas operators.

The Jonah Infill Drilling Project FEIS can be found on the BLM website at: www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/pfodocs/jonah/ . The Sublette County Library (both Pinedale and Big Piney branches), State Library, and University of Wyoming Coe Library have hard copies and CDs of the document. Hard copies or CDs may be requested in writing from: BLM-Pinedale Office. Comments should be submitted by close of business Monday, Feb. 13, 2006 to: Jonah Infill Drilling Project, BLM-Pinedale Field Office, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, WY 82941. Email comments may be submitted to: WyMail_Jonah_Infill@blm.gov.

-BLM-