Pumpjack in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Drilling rig west of Casper, Wyoming. Pipeline in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Pipeline facilities in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Pumpjack in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming.
BLM>Wyoming>Programs>Energy>Oil & Gas>Onshore Operations>APDs in Kemmerer
Print Page

Applications for Permit to Drill in the Kemmerer Field Office

Eight Point Technical Plan  |  Thirteen Point Surface Use Plan  |  Items of Special Attention  |  COAs

The following information regarding Applications for Permit to Drill (APD) in the Kemmerer Field Office is provided in an effort to improve the quality of APD submissions and hopefully, streamline the permitting process.

Information required in the Kemmerer Field Office Applications for Permit to Drill is the same as is required for applications on public lands throughout the county. These requirements are explained in detail in Onshore Oil & Gas Order Number 1 and Onshore Oil & Gas Order Number 2.

While the requirements for a complete APD are the same as outlined in Onshore Oil and Gas Orders No. 1 and 2 , there are occasions in the Kemmerer Field Office when some applications are submitted with incomplete information or with proposals that do not reflect local conditions relative to well control and resource protection. Items in the drilling plan are discussed below with special attention to local needs and conditions.

For more information on applications, we encourage you to call the Kemmerer Field Office at 307-828-4500. 

Eight Point Technical Plan

1. Geologic Tops - All estimated tops of important geologic markers that will be encountered must be listed here.





Green Riversurfacewater (usable)
Wasatch1220'water (usable)
Fort Union3765'gas/water
1st Frontier9556'gas/condensate
2nd Frontier10521'gas/condensate
Mowry11294'some water, oil/gas

2. Estimated depths of anticipated oil, gas, water, or mineral bearing formations - This information is important (see Example above). Oil and gas operators must design the casing and cementing program to protect all mineral zones and design the cementing program to protect usable water (less than 10,000 ppm TDS) from commingling with brackish water or hydrocarbons. This can be done by casing over the usable water entirely or by circulating cement above all oil and gas or brackish water zones. Usable water in the KFO jurisdictional area is found primarily in the Wasatch formation throughout the area.

3. Pressure control equipment - A diagram of the proposed BOP (blowout pressure) stack and choke manifold must be included showing sizes, pressure ratings (or API series), testing procedures, and the testing frequency. The working pressure of the BOP stack will be calculated by assuming a partially evacuated hole with a fluid column in the hole equivalent to 4.23 ppg (.22 psi/ft).


  • Total Depth = 12,000 ft.
  • Bottom Hole Pressure = 6,480 psi.
  • Minimum BOP Working Pressure = 6,480 psi - .22 psi/ft * 12,000 ft = 3,840 psi
  • BOPE of 5,000 psi (5M) working pressure is required.
  • Wells in the KFO area are typically drilled with BOP equipment rated to 5,000 psi.

4. Complete information on the drilling equipment, casing and cementing program - The proposed casing program shall include the size, weight, grade, and length of casing proposed, type of thread and coupling, and setting depth of each string, and whether it is new or used. Although not required, some operators also provide the burst, collapse, and tensile strength of the proposed casing. It is also helpful to show the casing design factors used and any assumptions made with regard to formation and fracturing pressures.

The cementing program must include the type of cement to be used on all strings of casing. It should include additives, slurry weight, yield, volume (sacks), and 24 hour compressive strength. The application should also indicate the desired top of cement proposed and how that will be achieved (through the use of caliper logs, % excess cement used, etc.).

An example of typical casing and cement design format is shown below. Proposals must be functionally equivalent with regards to protection of usable water zones, mineral zones and well control.

Proposed Casing And Cementing Program

Size of

Size of



Quantity of Cement

12-1/4"9 5/8"36#, K-55, BT&C, New0-1500'Lead with approx. 325 sx of premium lite cement + additives mixed at 12.6 PPG (yield=1.98 cuft/sx). Tail with approx. 200 sx Class G cement + 2% CaCl, mixed at 15.6 PPG (yield=1.16 cuft/sx). Cement top 100 feet using 1" tubing, with class G cement + 2% CaCl mixed at 15.6 PPG (yield=1.16 cu.ft./sx). Cement to surface.
9-7/8"7"20#, K-55, LT&C, New0-9000'Lead with approx. 850 sx of premium lite cement + additives mixed at 12.6 PPG (yield=1.98 cuft/sx). Tail with approx. 400 sx Class G cement + 2% CaCl w/additives mixed at 15.6 PPG (yield=1.16 cuft/sx). Cement to surface.
6-1/4"4 1/2"11.6#, C-95, LT&C, New8500 -12100'Set with approx. 360 sx Class G cement + additives mixed at 15.6 PPG (yield=1.16 cuft/sx). Top of cement at 8500'.

Actual cement volumes may vary due to variations in the actual hole gauge and will be determined by running a caliper log on the drilled hole plus 10% excess. After cementing but before commencing any test, the casing string shall stand cemented until cement has reached a compressive strength of 500 psi at the shoe. WOC time shall be recorded in the driller's log.

5. Information on Mud System - Type and characteristics of the proposed circulating medium or mediums to be employed in drilling, the quantities and types of mud and weighting material to be maintained, including weights, water loss material, and pH, and the monitoring equipment to be used on the mud system. It is also be helpful if specific additives are listed here.


Mud Program


Mud Type


Water/Fluid Loss


0 - 1500'Gel/Water8.3 - 8.9 PPGNo Control NoneNone
0 - 9000'Brine Water8.4 - 9.2 PPGNo ControlChem-Gel
9000' - 12100'Polymer9.8 - 10.5 PPG12 cc or lessWeight to 9.8# before penetrating 9000'

6. Testing, Logging, Coring - Information on the types of logs that will be run and the depths at which they will be run should be included here. If specific information is known about the anticipated completion procedure (including size and type of frac, how the well will be flowed back, how the fluids will be handled, etc..) it is useful for the BLM to have this information at the APD stage.


  • Logs: DIL-GR from TD to BSC (bottom of surface casing) CNL-FDC-GR, Caliper, from TD to 1500' (GR log pulled to surface)
  • DST's: Drill-stem tests are possible in the Frontier and Dakota formations. Additional DST's will be run as warranted by logs and/or shows.
  • Coring: No coring is planned.
  • Completion: Prospective zones will be perforated and tested for productive potential. If zones are productive, they will be fracture stimulated with a gelled water base fluid and 20/40 sand as a proppant. Stimulation will be designed sufficiently drain the reservoir.

Within the Know Sodium Leasing Area (KLSA) and a surrounding 6-mile buffer zone, a cased or open-hole neutron/gamma ray log will be required to delineate trona beds within the Green River formation. For wells within the Oil Shale Classification area, the gamma ray log will be run through the entire Green River formation to delineate oil shale beds.

7. Expected BHP, abnormal temperatures and pressures, and hazards - Information that should be included in this section includes the depth of any overpressured zones, lost circulation zones, or H2S zones. The presence of any of these conditions should include a discussion as to how they will be handled. If H2S is anticipated to occur in concentrations greater than 100 PPM or more, an H2S Drilling Operations Plan in accordance with Onshore Oil and Gas Order No. 6 will be required.

8. Other information - If there is other information that will help the BLM consider the drilling permit it should be included here.


  • The anticipated date for drilling to commence is January 15, 2002. It is anticipated it will take approximately 25 days to drill the well, and 12 days to complete. A 2-3/8", N-80, 4.7#/ft tubing string will be used for completion and production.

Thirteen Point Surface Use Plan

1. Existing roads - The existing roads that will be used to access the well must be shown. It is useful to show these roads and how they relate to the lease or unit boundaries and whether they exist on private. A right-of-way will be needed for any portion of the road that is not within the lease or unit boundaries. Whether the existing road is suitable for drilling equipment must also be addressed. If the road requires upgrading it should be addressed in the second point of the thirteen point plan.

2. Access roads to be constructed/reconstructed - The proposed road design must be included. A certified survey and design is often required. Details regarding the handling of topsoil, culvert placement, and road surfacing must also be included. All new road construction should be in compliance with the "Gold Book" Oil and Gas Surface Operating Standards for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development.

3. Location of existing wells - include a map showing all wells within a one mile radius.

4. Well facilities - Any existing well facilities or facilities that will be installed if the well is productive must be shown on a map or plat. Details on the produced water pit are important. We also like to see the production facilities arranged to minimize long term surface disturbance and painted Carlsbad Canyon Brown.

5. Location of water supply - If a water well is proposed to be drilled on location it must be stated here.

6. Construction materials to be used - The type of sand, gravel, or stone that will be used for road construction and the source of this material must be included in this section. If construction materials are obtained from BLM lands, a material sales permit may be required.

7. Methods for handling waste - The method for handling the drilling fluids, drill cutting, completion fluids, and test fluids must be addressed here.

8. Ancillary facilities - Self explanatory.

9. Wellsite layout - Submit a detailed cut and fill diagram on a scale of not less than 1" = 50 feet. Also show the location of topsoil and spoil storage areas, the road, rig layout, and pit location. Do not propose a pit on the fill side of the well pad.

10. Reclamation plans - Indicate plans for partial reclamation if the well is a producer and plans for final reclamation. Plans for final reclamation may be postponed until later. Contact the Physical Scientist, KFO, for a seed mix prescription.

11. Surface ownership -Indicate the surface land ownership for all lands that will be crossed by roads as well as the ownership of the land the well will be drilled on.

12. Other information - If there is other information that will help the BLM consider the drilling permit it should be included here.

13. Lessee or Operator's certification - See Onshore Oil and Gas Order #1.

Items Of Special Attention

The Kemmerer Field Office has noted several things that may delay the timely processing of applications
for permit to drill. These occur with enough frequency to warrant special attention
and are addressed in detail below.

Class III cultural survey and report - An application for Permit to Drill (APD) is not considered complete until a Class III cultural resource survey has been performed and a report is submitted. Often these reports are not submitted until weeks after we receive the APD. Our consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office is mandatory and can take up to 30 days. The cultural report should be submitted with the APD or very shortly thereafter if the applicant expects the permit to be issued within the 30 day timeframe that the BLM commits to in Onshore Oil and Gas Order No. 1.

Right-of-way - If a federal right-of-way is needed to access the well location (i.e. road access), the right-of-way application should be addressed in the APD. If the APD includes a power line or pipeline, a separate plan of development addressing the installation and reclamation would be needed in order to address those items for right-of-way access. Many times right-of-way items can be addressed during the on-site inspection allowing field concerns to be handled at the onset of the project. Timely payment of associated right-of-way fees will be necessary to avoid delay of APD approval. KFO will not issue a permit to drill until the Federal right-of-way is granted.

Road survey and design - KFO may require a survey and design, certified by a civil engineer, for the access road. These survey and design plans must be submitted to our BLM Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901-3448, Attention: Don Schramm, where they are reviewed and approved by a BLM civil engineer (a copy of the plan should also be submitted to the KFO). These survey and design plans may not be submitted until late in the permitting process and can slow down the approval process.

Private landowner agreement - Often private land must be crossed to access a well site on Federal land. Until KFO is convinced that some agreement has been reached with the landowner, we will not issue the drilling permit.

Designation of agent - If an operator wishes to drill within an approved Federal Unit wherein they are not the Unit Operator, a formal designation of agent must be on file in our office. Waiting for the applicant to obtain this authorization from the Unit Operator often delays us approving an APD.

Plan of development for a Federal unit - Article 10 of the Federal Unit agreement calls for all wells within a Federal Unit to be included in an approved plan of development for the unit area. Not having a prior approval of this plan of development, or neglecting to include a particular well in the plan, can delay the approval of an APD.

Spacing exception - KFO will not approve a well that does not conform to Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission Spacing orders until we have evidence that the operator has obtained a spacing exception. This is often overlooked until late in the permitting process and can delay the timely processing of an otherwise complete application.

H2S Contingency Plan (or H2S Drilling Operation Plan) - An H2S Contingency Plan will be required for proposed drilling operations where formations will be penetrated which have zones known to contain or which could reasonable be expected to contain concentrations of H2S of 100 PPM or more in the gas stream. Onshore Oil and Gas Order No. 6 describes the minimum standards and requirements necessary to be met. The Order also contains applicability criteria when a Public Protection Plan will also be required to be filed, based on the H2S radius of exposure. For drilling mud program requirements, Onshore Oil and Gas Order No. 2 specifies that hydrogen sulfide safety and monitoring equipment shall be available and in use where atmospheric concentrations of hydrogen sulfide of 20 PPM or greater are anticipated.

Amended Moxa Arch Cementing Policy - On January 13, 1994, BLM KFO issued a Moxa Arch Cementing Policy letter based on BLM's growing concern for (1) the increasing number of squeeze jobs being performed to repair unprotected casing leaks caused by corrosion, and (2) the number of new wells drilled in the Granger area that had encountered a gas charged water zone at around 1350 feet. The letter covered wells drilled in a area defined as a area of concern (AC) with a boundary of: Township 16 North and Range 111-113 West on the southern end, and a northern boundary of the Green River and Range 111-113 West. As a result of a collaborative effort (BLM, Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW), Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC), and industry representatives) the policy was amended February 16, 1995, to enable operators in the AC to choose a protection plan that best suits their individual needs, while at the same time, allow the BLM to meet regulatory requirements. Following is the Amended Moxa Arch Cementing Policy as described in the BLM letter of February 16, 1995, (available on request) that operators should be aware of:

Part of the mission of the Kemmerer Field Office, is to insure "the protection of fresh water and other minerals..." (43 CFR 3162.5-2(d)) during the drilling and production phases of oil and gas wells. In order to insure that this mission statement is being met, wells drilled in the Moxa Arch Area of Concern (AC) will adhere to one or more of the following policies:

1. Production casing will be cemented from TD to either surface or 250 feet inside the surface casing.

2. If production casing is not cemented as described in (1) above, then a Cathodic Protection System (CP) will be installed. The system will be designed to insure casing protection to whichever depth is the shallowest: A. The top of the Hilliard Shale. B. Below any zone with a TDS of less than or equal to 10,000 PPM C. Top of cement.

3. If an operator elects to do neither (1) or (2) above, they may elect to run corrosion logs on selected wells on a periodic basis. If this option is chosen, then the operator must inform BLM which wells the logs will be run on, what logs will be run, and at what periodic rate.

4. All wells drilled in the 6-mile Buffer Zone bounding the Known Sodium Leasing Area (KLSA) and between Township 17-21 North, Range 110-112 West, (fig. 1), will have surface casing set to the top, or into, the Wasatch formation and cemented back to surface. BLM may modify the above requirements or impose additional conditions based on newly acquired information. Except in emergency situations, BLM will consult with affected parties in the development or modification of these requirements as well as the collection and quantification of such information. An operator may request a waiver from the above requirements on a case by case situation. A request for waiver must be accompanied by sufficient justification to show that the intent of this policy is and will be met.

Conditions Of Approval

Listed below are standard conditions of approval for Applications for Permit to Drill (APD) in the Kemmerer Field Office. These COA's are attached to all APD's approved by the Field Office.

Bureau of Land Management Contacts
Kemmerer Field Office
312 Highway 189 North
Kemmerer, WY 83101
Fax 307-828-4539

Field Manager: Mary Jo Rugwell
Petroleum Engineer: Matt Warren, 307-828-4511
Petroleum Engineer Technicians:
   Pat Pringle, 307-727-7071
   Rich Fleming, 307-727-7781
   Dave Brewer, 307-727-8375

Alternate Petroleum Engineer Contacts:

  • Susan Davis 307-352-0346 (Rock Springs)
  • Rob Coleman, 307-775-6193 (Cheyenne)

1. This authorization is contingent upon receipt of and compliance with all appropriate federal, state, county and local, permits.

2. Verbal notification shall be given to the Authorized Officer's representative at least 48 hours in advance of access road/well pad construction, seeding and the initiation of any reclamation work, including the reduction of the drill pad to a well pad.

3. The spud date will be reported orally to the Authorized Officer's representative 48 HOURS PRIOR TO SPUDDING, unless otherwise required in site specific conditions of approval.

4. Verbal notification shall be given to the Authorized Officer's representative at least 24 hours in advance of formation tests, Blowout Prevention Equipment tests, running and cementing casing (other than conductor casing), and drilling over lease expiration dates.

5. Drilling progress reports shall be filed directly to the Kemmerer Field Office on a weekly basis.

6. This APD is valid for a period of one year from the date of approval or until the oil and gas lease expires/terminates, whichever occurs first. If the APD terminates, any surface disturbance created under the application must be reclaimed in accordance with the approved plan.

7. Approval of this APD does not warrant or certify that the applicant holds legal or equitable title to those rights in the subject lease which would entitle the applicant to conduct operations thereon. In addition, approval of this APD does not imply that the operator has legal access to the drilling location. When crossing private surface 43 CFR 3814 regulations must be complied with and when crossing public surface off-lease the operator must have an approved rights-of-way.

8. A complete copy of the approved APD must be at the drill site during the construction of the roads and drill pad, the drilling of the well, and the completion of the well.

9. The operator is responsible for informing all persons associated with this project that they shall be subject to prosecution for damaging, altering, excavating or removing any archaeological,
historical, or vertebrate fossil objects or sites. If archaeological, historical, or vertebrate fossil materials are discovered, the operator is to suspend all operations that further disturb such
materials and immediately contact the Authorized Officer. Operations are not to resume until written authorization to proceed is issued by the Authorized Officer.

Within five (5) working days, the Authorized Officer will evaluate the discovery and inform the operator of actions that will be necessary to prevent loss of significant cultural or scientific values. The operator is responsible for the cost of any mitigation required by the Authorized Officer. The Authorized Officer will provide technical and procedural guidelines for the conduct of mitigation. Upon verification from the Authorized Officer that the required mitigation has been completed, the operator will be allowed to resume operations.

10. The operator shall notify the Authorized Officer, by telephone, with written confirmation, immediately upon the discovery of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony. The operator shall immediately stop all activities in the vicinity of the discovery and protect it until notified to proceed by the Authorized Officer

11. All survey monuments found within the area of operations shall be protected. Survey monuments include, but are not limited to: General Land Office and Bureau of Land Management Cadastral Survey Corners, reference corners, witness points, U. S. Coast and Geodetic benchmarks and triangulation stations, military control monuments, and recognizable civil (both public and private) survey monuments. In the event of obliteration or disturbance of any survey monuments, the incident shall be reported in writing to the Authorized Officer.

12. The operator shall be responsible for the prevention and suppression of fires on public lands caused by its employees, contractors or subcontractors. During conditions of extreme fire danger, surface use operations may be limited or suspended in specific areas.

13. New hard-band drill pipe shall not be rotated inside any casing. Hard-band drill pipe shall be considered new until it has been run at least once.

14. A sundry notice must be submitted and approved prior to any pit closures or reclamation work.
In the event that any hydrocarbon material is released into the reserve or production pits, it shall
be removed within seven (7) days of the discharge event. Prior to removal of such material the pit shall be flagged.

15. Construction activity shall not be conducted using frozen or saturated soil material or during periods when watershed damage is likely to occur.

16. The contents of the reserve pit(s) shall be allowed to dry. Any fluids that will not dry after one year shall be moved to a site approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

17. All permanent above-ground structures, e.g., production equipment, not subject to safety requirements shall be painted to blend with the natural color of the landscape. The color selected for this project shall match Carlsbad Canyon 2.5y 6/2 or be an acceptable substitute pre-approved by the local manager. Standard environmental color charts area available from the local BLM Office.

18. Rat and mouse holes shall be filled and compacted from the bottom to the top immediately upon release of the drilling rig from the location.

19. All storage batteries constructed as components of the project, including drain sumps and sludge holdings at compressor facilities, will be surrounded by a containment dike of sufficient capacity to contain the entire storage capacity of the largest facility plus one foot of freeboard or 110 percent of the capacity of the largest vessel.

20. All vehicles shall use only the authorized access road, as depicted in this approval. Vehicles shall not use any other access route into the drill/well pad and any ancillary facilities including, but not limited to any two-tracks, pipeline rights-of-way etc..

21. The Holder shall be responsible for total control of all invasive/noxious weed species on any and all disturbed sites. The Holder is responsible for consultation with the Authorized Officer and/or local authorities for acceptable weed control methods, and shall comply with the following:

Use of pesticides/herbicides shall comply with all applicable Federal and State laws. Pesticides/herbicides shall be used only in accordance with their registered uses within limitations imposed by the Secretary of the Interior. Prior to the use of the pesticides/herbicides, the Holder shall obtain from the Authorized Officer, written approval of a Pesticide/Herbicide Use Proposal Plan showing the type and quantity of material to be used, pest(s) to be controlled, method of application, locations of storage and disposal of containers, and any other information deemed necessary by the Authorized Officer.

Applicator(s) of chemicals used must have completed the pesticide/herbicide certification training and have a current up to date Certified Pesticide/Herbicide Applicator's License.

Pesticide/Herbicide Application Records for the areas and acres treated must be submitted to the BLM Kemmerer Field Office each year. This includes the following:

  • Brand or Product name
  • EPA registration number
  • Total amount applied (use rate #A.I./acre)
  • Date of application
  • Location of application
  • Size of area treated
  • Method of treatment (air/ground)
  • Name of applicator
  • Certification number
  • Amount of surfactants or dyes used in spraying operation

The record information must be recorded no later than 14 days following the pesticide/herbicide application and must be maintained for ten years.

22. If snow removal outside the roadway is undertaken, equipment used for snow removal operations will be equipped with shoes to keep the blade six inches off the ground surface. Special precautions shall be taken where the surface of the ground is uneven to ensure that equipment blades do not destroy vegetation.