BLM expects no long-term impacts from Devon's planned seismic survey

An environmental analysis has determined that no long-term impacts will result from Devon Energy Corp.'s proposed seismic survey of about 25 square miles of land near Rock Springs, Wyo., the US Bureau of Land Management said on Oct. 15.

An environmental analysis has determined that no long-term impacts will result from Devon Energy Corp.'s proposed seismic survey of about 25 square miles of land near Rock Springs, Wyo., the US Bureau of Land Management said on Oct. 15.

The Oklahoma City-based independent producer will use heli-portable drilling methods for shot hole preparation to reduce surface impacts, the US Department of the Interior agency said in a decision record. It said that Devon will use light trucks to transport personnel and equipment to sites within the proposed area but only on existing access routes approved by BLM.

It said that the seismic survey of the Horseshoe Basin tract approximately 45 miles south of Rock Springs and west of Wyoming Highway 430 would create temporary surface disturbances, mostly minor soil disturbance and vegetation tramping during shot hole drilling. Disturbance would be limited to a 3-foot radius around a 3-4 inch shot hole and would be reclaimed following the seismic recording's completion.

During a 30-day scoping period, BLM said that comments were submitted expressing concern about possible impacts from noise and activity on hunting, impacts to springs and seeps from shot hole detonation, impacts to wildlife, and impacts to the Pine Mountain area's recreational and land values.

It said that Devon began the seismic survey on Oct. 13 and will continue it until Nov. 15, the date on which big game crucial winter stipulations go into effect. Any portions of the seismic survey which are not completed by that time would be delayed until 2009, when restrictions on activities within crucial winter range and other wildlife restrictions end, BLM said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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