The US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) White River Field Office has published its amended plan for the development of oil and gas in a portion of northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin.
The bureau is seeking public comment on the White River Resource Management Plan Oil and Gas Amendment, which analyzes four alternatives for potential development and proposes appropriate mitigation measures for development over the next 20 years. The proposed area involves 1.7 million acres of federal leasable minerals administered by the White River office, which includes Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County, and a small portion of northern Garfield County.
In the next two decades, oil and gas activities in the White River portion of the Piceance Basin could produce 878 Bcf of natural gas annually, the BLM said. The majority of the acreage is already leased for oil and gas development.
The draft plan amendment considers development alternatives that range from 4,603 new wells on 550 new well pads, to 21,200 new wells on 2,556 new well pads. It also proposes several possible mitigation measures to minimize impacts to wildlife and other sensitive resources, the bureau said.
Four public open houses will be hosted later this month in Meeker, Rangely, Silt, and Grand Junction, Colorado, to answer questions and provide an opportunity to submit written comments on the draft amendment. Comments will be accepted through 14 December and a final decision is expected by April 2014.