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March 28, 2007
Contact: James Roberts 307-828-4506
Rey Adame 307-352-0399

 

Kemmerer BLM Analyzes Public Input to Bear Canyon Exploratory Environmental Assessment

 

The Kemmerer BLM continues its review of public comments to the Bear Canyon Exploratory Project Assessment (EA). Public comments were received during the 30-day comment period which ended Jan. 3, 2007.

Fortuna (US) L.P. (Fortuna) has filed a Notice of Staking (NOS) for the development of two wildcat oil well locations within the Kemmerer BLM field office jurisdiction.

The proposed wells are located approximately 20 miles northwest of the town of Kemmerer and 12 miles southeast of Cokeville, Wyoming. The EA will analyze the exploratory development associated with this project which would be the construction, drilling and completion of four well pads with a total of 12 wells being drilled. The project area is currently being identified as the area within Township 23 North and Ranges 117 and 118 West, 6th Principal Meridian. Fortuna currently has existing leased lands in this project area but has not submitted an Application for Permit to Drill (APD). Those portions of the project occurring on state and private lands are not subject to BLM authorization and would be permitted separately.

Oil exploration and development occurs in phases. The construction phase would use heavy equipment such as a bulldozer and scrappers to construct a well pad large enough to support all equipment necessary throughout the drilling and completion phase.

The drilling phase of the development would use a diesel power generated drilling rig, which is proposed to be on a "closed loop" mud system requiring tanks on location rather than the construction of a reserve pit. Water will be brought in to the site by truck or a well will be drilled to handle the operational drilling and dust abatement needs. Fortuna will be looking at multiple well pads if the initial wells drilled are productive. Consequently, directional drilling of additional wells from one pad will be incorporated into the Environmental Analysis. It is estimated that the total time necessary to drill each well would be approximately three to four months. Once the operator reaches the targeted depth they will complete testing to determine if the well will be economic.

The following issues and concerns have been identified by the BLM to date. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive list, but rather a starting point for public input and a means of identifying the resource disciplines needed to conduct the analysis.

  • Air Quality
  • Raptor nesting habitat
  • Greater sage-grouse habitat
  • Big game winter ranges
  • Steep slopes
  • Riparian areas
  • Cultural resources including Sublette Cutoffs of the Oregon-California Trail
  • Native American religious sites
  • Paleological rock outcrops
  • Abandoned mines
  • Residential areas
  • Underground utilities and other facilities
  • Road Development
  • Road crossings
  • Weeds
  • Hunting areas and other recreation
  • Grazing
  • Sensitive soils
  • Sensitive plant species
  • Threatened and Endangered Species

For more information, contact James Roberts, Kemmerer BLM project manager at 307-828-4506.

-BLM-