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April 25, 2006
Contact: Rey Adame 307-352-0399
Matt Anderson 307-367-5328

BLM Issues Public Scoping Notice for Pipeline Corridor Expansion Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has determined the need to expand existing pipeline corridors which would be analyzed as part of the Pinedale Anticline Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).

The SEIS is a supplement to the 2000 Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project EIS (PAPA EIS). Scoping comments on the pipeline corridor expansion will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2006.

“We invite the public to submit written comments on the Proponent’s proposal. All issues that are raised in written comments submitted by mail or email will aid BLM in identifying alternatives and assuring all issues are analyzed in the SEIS,” said Matt Anderson, project coordinator. The purpose of the scoping process is to assist federal agencies in identifying issues and concerns with the Proposed Action. The public’s input will help the agencies to identify reasonable alternatives and complete the analyses of those alternatives.

“We ask that your comments be constructive, relate directly to this proposal and impending SEIS, that you be as specific as possible, and that you cite any data or other information that you believe would assist BLM in developing the most realistic range of alternative actions and the best-informed environmental impact analysis,” said Anderson.

The original scoping notice for the SEIS was sent out in October 2005 and the comment period closed Nov. 21, 2005. BLM is reopening the scoping period to capture any comments or concerns pertaining to expansion of the pipeline corridors. There is no need to resend any comments previously submitted to the BLM for the proposal.

In September 2005, Shell Exploration & Production Company (Shell), Ultra Resources, Inc. (Ultra), Anschutz Pinedale Corporation (Anschutz), Questar Exploration & Production Company (Questar), and others who agree to participate (jointly referred to as the Proponents), notified the BLM Pinedale Field Office that they propose year-round drilling and completions to develop all of their lease holdings within the Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA) in Sublette County, Wyoming. The Proponents are requesting temporary relaxation of seasonal wildlife restrictions in concentrated development areas. Although some impacts from winter drilling may occur, BLM is considering this proposal because it may provide opportunities to reduce habitat fragmentation, surface disturbance (including roads, pads and pipelines), air emissions, traffic, and shorten the time of these effects.

The Proponents’ proposal for year-round drilling and completions and the October 2005 Pinedale Anticline SEIS Scoping Notice is on file in the Pinedale Field Office. The 2000 PAPA EIS analyzed impacts from construction of gas sales pipeline corridors from the PAPA to existing pipeline hubs in southwestern Wyoming (Mountain Gas Resource’s Granger Plant and William’s Field Service’s Opal Plant). Multiple pipelines have been constructed in the 200-foot wide corridors since the 2000 PAPA Record of Decision.

Space for additional pipeline is unavailable within the existing corridor to the Bird Canyon Compressor Station. To transport additional natural gas produced by Questar, as part of this Proposed Action, Rendezvous Pipeline (Mountain Gas Resources, Inc., Western Gas Resources and Questar) is applying for a right-of-way grant to construct a 98-mile 30-inch pipeline from the PAPA to the Granger and Blacks Fork gas processing plants in Sweetwater and Uinta counties, respectively. Depending on the production levels of natural gas produced in the PAPA, they may construct a second 98-mile 30-inch pipeline parallel to the proposed Rendezvous pipeline at a later date.

To transport natural gas produced by Shell and Ultra, TEPPCO is applying for a right-of-way grant to construct a 16-mile 24-inch pipeline from the Mesa to the Falcon Compressor Station and a 31-mile 36-inch pipeline from the Paradise Compressor Station to the Bird Canyon Compressor Station that will parallel and be adjacent to the proposed Rendezvous 30-inch pipeline. From Bird Canyon, TEPPCO proposes to construct a 44-mile natural gas pipeline to the Opal and Pioneer gas processing plants in Lincoln County. This 44-mile pipeline segment would be constructed within the proposed Bridger Pipeline Corridor (expected to be approved by the BLM in 2006).

The portion of the proposed gas pipeline route from the PAPA to the Bird Canyon Compressor Station mostly parallels the existing 200-foot wide pipeline corridor for the majority of the route, with the exception of a 5-mile segment of the proposed route which deviates away and back to a parallel position next to the existing 200-foot wide corridor, however, the existing 200-foot wide corridor is full. For this portion of the Proposed Action (proposed route between the PAPA and the Bird Canyon Compressor Station), BLM is considering a 500-foot wide expansion of the existing corridor.

The proposed Rendezvous pipeline route from the Bird Canyon Compressor Station to the Granger and Blacks Fork gas processing plants parallels an existing pipeline corridor. BLM is considering a 300-foot wide expansion of the existing corridor. The proposed TEPPCO pipeline route from Bird Canyon to the Pioneer and Opal gas plants also follows an existing corridor that will require expansion. However, expansion of this corridor is being analyzed in a separate NEPA document (Bridger Pipeline – Kemmerer Field Office). Collectively, the proposed natural gas pipelines would cross state highways, numerous roads, Union Pacific railroad tracks, historic trails, and the New Fork, Green, Hams Fork, and Blacks Fork Rivers.

The proposed Rendezvous Pipeline would transport natural gas to the existing Granger Plant located in Section 16, T. 18 N., R. 111 W in Sweetwater County. The 33.4 acre Granger Plant is owned and operated by Mountain Gas Resources, Inc. This plant is being expanded by 86.4 acres to accommodate additional natural gas processing. The Granger Plant is located on BLM-managed land.

To be fully considered, comments must be RECEIVED in the Pinedale BLM office (NOT be postmarked) by close of business (4:30 p.m.) on May 17, 2006. Written comments must be provided via mail or email or can be delivered to the BLM-Pinedale office at 432 E. Mill Street, Pinedale, Wyoming. Faxes will not be accepted. Please send your comments to:

Pinedale Anticline Supplemental EIS
Bureau of Land Management
Pinedale Field Office
P.O. Box 768
Pinedale, WY 82941

Anyone submitting comments can also send their input to: WYMail_PAPA_YRA@blm.gov

For more information, contact Matt Anderson at 307-367-5328.


Last updated: 03-03-2007