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May 21, 2007
Contact: Bruce Collins,

Rawlins BLM Releases Record of Decision:
Atlantic Rim Coalbed Natural Gas Development

The Bureau of Land Management’s Rawlins Field Office has released the Record of Decision for the Atlantic Rim Coalbed Natural Gas Project, authorizing development of 1.35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas—enough to heat nearly 20 million homes for a year. The project is expected to generate $6.4 billion in economic activity, including $320 million in federal royalties. Half of this federal royalty will go to the State of Wyoming. Wyoming severance taxes would generate an additional $271 million.

Anadarko Exploration Company and other operators (including Double Eagle Petroleum and Mining Company, and Warren Resources, Inc.) proposed developing coalbed natural gas (CBNG) in the Atlantic Rim area. The project area includes 270,080 acres from Baggs to six miles south of Rawlins, including 173,672 acres of public land, 14,060 acres of State of Wyoming lands, and 82,348 acres of private surface.

“This ROD is the result of close collaboration with the State of Wyoming, particularly the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept., as we worked to find ways to minimize impacts to wildlife habitat in Atlantic Rim,” Rawlins Field Manager Mark Storzer said.

Anadarko and the other operators propose a maximum of 1,800 coal bed natural gas and 200 conventional natural gas wells that could be drilled in the Atlantic Rim project area. Drilling is expected to last for approximately 20 years, with a project lifespan of 30 to 50 years.

The BLM’s Preferred Alternative would:

  • reduce disturbance by 18% from the proposed action
  • set a disturbance limit goal of 6.5 acres per well pad
  • limit well site spacing to 8 well sites per 640 acre section (80-acre spacing)
  • emphasize reclamation by capping un-reclaimed disturbance at no more than 7,600 acres
  • require annual planning and coordination with cooperators, landowners, and companies
  • Establish performance goals to describe conditions BLM and operators will strive to achieve. These goals will be achieved through interagency collaboration, performance requirements, performance-based monitoring and adaptive management.

The draft and final EISs, including public comments and input from state and local cooperators, informed this decision. The ROD is based on Alternative D, the BLM’s preferred alternative, which allows for natural gas development with intensive reclamation and limited surface disturbance.

BLM’s Rawlins Field Office Record of Decision (ROD) for the Atlantic Rim Coalbed Natural Gas Project today on their website:


For more information on the Atlantic Rim Record of Decision, contact:

David Simons, Project Manager
Rawlins Field Office
P.O. Box 2407
Rawlins, WY 82301