BLM releases final EIS for Uinta basin gas project

The US Bureau of Land Management’s Vernal, Utah, field office released the final environmental impact statement for Gasco Energy Inc.’s Uinta basin tight natural gas project for 30 days beginning Mar. 16. A record of decision disclosing BLM’s final decision and any project conditions of approval on Apr. 16, it said.

BLM said that the Gasco project area encompasses 206,826 acres in an existing gas producing area in Utah’s Uintah and Duchesne counties. Under the agency preferred alternative, up to 1,298 gas wells would be drilled from 575 pads over 15 years disturbing 3,604 acres, or about 2% of the total project area.

It said that the final EIS considers public comments in response to the project’s October 2010 draft EIS, and was prepared the EIS process. BLM also closely coordinated with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure their concerns were adequately addressed, the US Department of the Interior agency said. 

Denver-based Gasco announced on Feb. 27 that its Gasco Production Co. subsidiary agreed to sell a half interest in its producing Uinta basin properties to Wapiti Oil & Gas II LLC for $20.75 million in cash and transfer a half interest in its undeveloped Uinta basin properties to Wapiti in exchange for, among other agreements, Wapiti’s commitment to provide $30 million for drilling and completion of the undeveloped assets.

Closing was expected sometime during March, Gasco said. The agreements did not include its California projects, it added.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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