Six producers receive BLM's 2009 best management practices awards

The US Bureau of Land Management named six oil and gas producers recipients of its 2009 Best Management Practices Awards on June 29.

Jul 11th, 2009

The US Bureau of Land Management named six oil and gas producers recipients of its 2009 Best Management Practices Awards on June 29.

JM Huber Corp., EnCana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc., Ultra Resources Inc., Shell Exploration and Production Co., Questar Market Resources, and Green River Resources Inc. demonstrated leadership and creativity in reducing impacts of developing oil and gas on public lands, the US Department of the Interior agency said.

It said that JM Huber was recognized for Best Overall Use of BMPs (best management practices) for its work in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The Edison, NJ company’s oil and gas production office in Sheridan, Wyo., holds early coordination meetings with the local BLM field office to incorporate the agency’s resource concerns into the company’s coalbed methane development program, BLM said.

“From this early coordination, the company developed a suite of creative and effective BMPs designed to address impacts associated with [CBM] development,” it said.

EnCana (USA) was recognized for Responsible Stewardship of Air Resources for its work in the Jonah field, according to BLM. It said that air quality-related emissions, specifically nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, are one of the key environmental issues associated with development of the western Wyoming natural gas field.

“Under specific temperate conditions, a chemical reaction between NOx and VOCs occurs in the air that results in the formation of ozone, which is an air pollutant regulated under the Clean Air Act. EnCana responded to this issue by proactively implementing an extensive and complex set of BMPs to reduce the amount of fugitive NOx and VOCs stemming from its operations,” BLM said.

Three companies collaborate

It said that Ultra Resources, Shell E&P, and Questar Market Resources also received Responsible Stewardship of Air Resources for their work in the Pinedale Anticline Field. “Like EnCana, these companies have partnered to design and implement BMPs specifically designed to reduce the amount of NOx and VOCs stemming from their operations,” the DOI agency said.

It cited Green River Energy Resources for Distinguished Integration of BMPs into Geophysical Integration for its work on the La Sal three-dimensional seismic project near Moab, Utah. One of the key issues associated with this seismic data acquisition project was that it took place within an area nominated by a citizens’ group as a proposed wilderness area, BLM explained.

The Las Vegas-based company used third-party contractors to design appropriate mitigation measures to address concerns typically found in areas with wilderness characteristics. “The result was very low-impact exploration without a permanent footprint on the landscape,” BLM said.

It said that operators, regulatory authorities, surface management agencies, Indian tribes, individual Indian landowners, other private landowners, trade associations, and the general public can nominate operators for the annual awards.

BLM said that a panel comprised of representatives from the agency, the oil and gas industry, and environmental organizations reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the BLM director.

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

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