Wyoming’s next wave of natural gas drilling

Pristine to Polluted | More Wells, Fewer Emissions | Next Wave of Natural Gas

It may seem counter-intuitive to propose some 21,000 new wells in Wyoming at time when natural gas prices are still depressed due to large new supplies in the southern and eastern United States. But producers are looking to the future, and Wyoming will remain a prime location for gas development for decades to come.

With the completion of the Wyoming-to-Oregon Ruby Pipeline this summer, Wyoming will — for at least a little while — have more export capacity than production. Ample export capacity makes Wyoming an attractive place to develop natural gas because producers don’t have to take discounted prices to get their gas into a pipeline. And some major producers can potentially play to whichever markets — east or west of Wyoming — are paying the best price.

Below is an overview of some of the major natural gas projects in preliminary stages of analysis at the Bureau of Land Management.

— Compiled by Dustin Bleizeffer

Proposed Wyoming energy development on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land. (click to enlarge)

Normally Pressured Lance Formation

  • TARGET: Deep natural gas
  • LOCATION: Adjacent to Jonah field in Sublette County
  • OPERATOR: EnCana Oil & Gas USA Inc.
  • PROJECT AREA: 141,000 acres
  • ANALYSIS: Environmental Impact Statement
  • STATUS: Initial scoping was completed in April.
  • BLM Contact: Kellie Roadifer, Pinedale Field Office (307) 367-5309.

LaBarge Platform Infill

  • TARGET: Natural gas
  • LOCATION: Straddling the Green River and the Sublette and Lincoln counties border
  • OPERATORS: EOG Resources Inc., ExxonMobil Production Co., Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Wexpro Co.
  • PROJECT AREA: 218,000 acres
  • ESTIMATED WELLS: 838 wells from 463 pads
  • ANALYSIS: Full environmental impact statement
  • BLM contact: Lauren McKeever, Pinedale Field Office (307)367-5352.
  • Project website

Gun Barrel, Madden Deep, Iron Horse

  • TARGET: Deep natural gas
  • LOCATION: Eastern Fremont County
  • OPERATORS: EnCana Oil & Gas USA Inc., Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Co. LP and Noble Energy Inc.
  • PROJECT AREA: 146,000 acres
  • ESTIMATED WELLS: 1,470 (130 new wells annually for 10 to 15 years)
  • ANALYSIS: Full environmental impact statement
  • STATUS: Federal scoping process began in June 2008
  • DESCRIPTION: The companies proposed a “full field” development scenario.
  • BLM contact: Chris Krassin, Lander Field Office (307) 332-8452.
  • Project website

Beaver Creek

  • TARGET: Coal-bed methane
  • LOCATION: Nine miles south of Riverton
  • OPERATOR: Devon Energy Production Co.
  • PROJECT AREA: 16,518 acres
  • ESTIMATED WELLS: 208 coal-bed methane on 40-acre spacing, and 20 conventional natural gas.
  • ANALYSIS: Full environmental impact statement
  • DESCRIPTION: An environmental assessment was completed in September 2007. Devon then completed 20 pilot wells confirming commercial quantities of coal-bed methane.
  • BLM contact: Curtis Bryan, Lander Field Office (307) 332-8415.
  • Project website

Moxa Arch Infill

  • TARGET: Natural gas
  • LOCATION: West of Green River, bisected by Interstate 80
  • OPERATORS: EOG Resources Inc., with some other interests
  • PROJECT AREA: 475,808 acres
  • ESTIMATED WELLS: 1,861 new wells, of which 1,226 would be drilled in the “core” area (in addition to prior authorization for 1,400 wells)
  • ANALYSIS: Full environmental impact statement
  • STATUS: Beginning work on supplemental draft
  • BLM contact: Michele Easley, Kemmerer Field Office (307) 828-4503.
  • Project website

Hiawatha Project

  • TARGET: Natural gas
  • LOCATION: South of Rock Springs, straddling the Wyoming-Colorado border
  • OPERATORS: QEP Resources and Wexpro Co.
  • PROJECT AREA: 157,361 acres
  • ANALYSIS: Full environmental impact statement
  • BLM contact: James Speck, Rock Springs Field Office (307) 352-0358.
  • Project website

Continental Divide-Creston (infill) Project

  • TARGET: Natural gas
  • LOCATION: Wamsutter area, straddling Interstate 80
  • OPERATOR: Devon Energy Corp., BP America Production Co.
  • PROJECT AREA: 1.1 million acres
  • ESTIMATED WELLS: 1,250 by Devon, 7,700 by BP
  • ANALYSIS: Full environmental impact statement
  • BLM Contact: Eldon Allison, Rawlins Field Office (307)328-4267.
  • Project website

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Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 25 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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