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Producers Request Year-Round Drilling Access in Pinedale Anticline

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering a proposal by several producers, including Anschultz, Shell Oil Co. and Ultra Petroleum Corp., to allow year-round drilling access in the Pinedale Anticline natural gas field of Wyoming. The 15- to 18-year operational proposal is focused on about 197,000 acres of mixed federal, state and private land south of Pinedale.

Operators want to use directional drilling, currently allowed on the Anticline, to reduce levels of surface disturbance. They also are proposing the use of one large pad placed in a central location to develop an entire section at 10-acre bottom hole spacing, or if not practical, two large pads at strategic locations. Estimated pad sizes are 10-15 acres for 16 wells and 20-30 acre pads for up to 64 wells. The pads would accommodate multiple drilling rigs, as well as simultaneous drilling (using directional drilling), completion and production operations under year-round access.

The BLM will host a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the Sublette Co. Library in Pinedale, WY to explain the proposal and take questions. Public comments will be accepted through Nov. 20. Following the comment period, the BLM will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to address cumulative impacts and will include consideration of the effects of the project. For more information, contact Matt Anderson, the Pinedale BLM project manager, at P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, WY 82301, or call (307) 367-5328, or send an e-mail to matt_anderson@blm.gov.

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