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December 28, 2007

    Caleb Hiner 307-367-5352
    Chuck Otto 307-367-5302

Pinedale BLM Issues Notice of Availability for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project Revised Draft SEIS

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale Field Office today issued a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (RDSEIS) for the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Project in Sublette County, Wyo. The public may comment on the project RDSEIS during a 45-day comment period beginning today through Monday, Feb. 11, 2008.

The draft SEIS was released for public comment in December 2006. Based on comments received, the BLM determined two additional alternatives were needed. The revised draft was developed to include these two new alternatives. The first additional alternative (D) provides for an expanded core area divided into five development areas, and a potential development area that surrounds the majority of the core. The second additional alternative (E) analyzes the proposed development without relaxing seasonal timing restrictions.

Questar Exploration and Production, Shell Exploration and Production Company, and Ultra Resources Inc. propose to conduct year-round drilling of exploratory and development wells on their leases within existing natural gas fields in Sublette County.

The project area, 198,034 acres of Federal, private, and state land generally located south of Pinedale, contains an estimated 21 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. The production of natural gas could generate approximately $16 billion in Federal royalties, $8 billion of which would go to the State of Wyoming. In addition, year-round access may provide opportunities for a year-round workforce instead of the seasonal boom-and- bust cycle.

The operators suggest drilling an additional 4,399 wells from an additional 250 well pads over a span of 60 years to effectively recover the mineral resource. The proposed development includes directional drilling that will allow multiple wells to be drilled from a single pad, reducing development impacts. The SEIS analyzes the impacts to surface and ground water resources; air quality; wildlife and their habitats; reclamation; visual resources; transportation, noxious weed control; grazing, cultural and paleontological resources; wetland and riparian resources, threatened and endangered animal and plant species; and socioeconomic resources. BLM’s preferred alternative provides a $36 million compensatory fund of initial wildlife habitat mitigation before drilling infrastructure increases in the area.

The web address is http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/pfodocs/anticline/seis.html. The RDSEIS is also available at the Pinedale Field Office. Written comments or resource information on this proposal should be sent to the Bureau of Land Management, Pinedale Field Office, PAPA RDSEIS Project Manager, 1625 West Pine Street, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, WY. 82941. E-mails may be sent to WYMail_PAPA_YRA@blm.gov.

The SEIS will supplement the 2000 Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA) Record of Decision (ROD), which is posted online at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/pfodocs/anticline.html.

For more information, contact  Caleb Hiner at 307-367-5352 or email caleb_hiner@blm.gov



Last updated: 12-28-2007