BLM releases amended White River oil, gas plan draft

The US Bureau of Land Management released a resource management plan amendment draft that aims to guide oil and gas resource development in northwestern Colorado for the next 20 years. BLM is seeking public comments on the White River RMP Oil & Gas Amendment draft, which analyzes four development alternatives and proposes appropriate mitigation measures, the US Department of the Interior agency said on Aug. 22.

The draft covers 1.7 million acres administered by BLM’s White River field office in Meeker, Colo. Most of the acreage already is leased for oil and gas development, according to BLM. It said that the plan amendment draft’s alternatives range from 4,603 new wells on 550 new pads to 21,200 new wells on 2,556 new pads.

BLM said oil and gas activity in this area of the Piceance basin could produce 878 bcf of gas and create as many as 880 new jobs in northwestern Colorado. It will host open houses to answer questions and provide opportunities to submit written comments on Sept. 24 in Meeker, Sept. 25 in Rangeley, Sept. 26 in Silt, and Sept. 27 in Grand Junction.

Public comments will be accepted through Dec. 14, it indicated. BLM said it will then develop a final proposed alternative, with a final decision expected in April 2014.

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