Comments sought on drilling near Rock Springs, Montana

CASPER – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a proposal by Encana Oil & Gas to drill 85 new natural-gas wells adjacent to the Jonah Field in western Wyoming.

The new production area would be about 70 miles northwest of Rock Springs, with an average density of one well per 80 acres and a maximum density of one well per 40 acres, the BLM said. The project would also include support facilities such as access roads, pipelines and compressor stations.

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WY Gov seeks drilling plan delay

CHEYENNE — Gov. Dave Freudenthal asked the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday to delay acting on a proposal to drill for natural gas in the Wyoming Range, a popular hunting and recreation area within the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. wants to drill 136 gas wells on 17 well pads spread over about 10,000 acres on the northeast corner of the Wyoming Range. Some of the acreage is near a rural subdivision of expensive homes and cabins.

The Forest Service says the Plains Exploration plan would disturb about 400 acres and result in building about 15 miles of roads.

“In a historical context, such a proposal is quite modest,” Freudenthal said in a letter to the Forest Service. “In the Wyoming Range, this proposal is monumental, far reaching and fraught with controversy.”

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Forest Service could quash WY oil and gas leases

LANDER — The U.S. Forest Service could quash contested oil and gas leases in the Wyoming Range, if an updated environmental analysis differs from its 18-year-old predecessor.

But if that happened, it could lead to legal imbroglios between the Forest Service and the companies that purchased the leases from the Bureau of Land Management.

If the latest Forest Service analysis indicates that the environmental impact of drilling on the Wyoming Range would be unacceptable, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and its supervisor, Carole “Kniffy” Hamilton, could, effectively, invalidate the leases.

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