5,000-well Oil and Gas Field Approved in Eastern Wyoming | Big Horn Radio Network | Wyoming

5,000-well Oil and Gas Field Approved in Eastern Wyoming

Written by on December 23, 2020


U.S. officials have approved a 5,000-well oil and gas project spread across a huge expanse of eastern Wyoming that would generate thousands of jobs but has raised concerns over potential harm to to birds of prey and other wildlife.

Five major oil and gas companies proposed the development on more than 2,300 square miles (6,000 square kilometers) of land between Glenrock and Douglas. Drilling would occur year-round over a decade with each well expected to last about 30 years.

Federal officials say the oil and gas field would create more than 8,000 jobs and between $18 billion and $28 billion in revenue.

A previous government study noted that the project calls for exemptions to operate in sage grouse habitat and drill year-round in areas where raptors such as hawks and owls nest. Of the 53,000 acres (2,1448 million hectares) directly disturbed for pipelines, roads and pads, about 21,000 acres (8,500 hectares) may be disturbed for the full life of the project, the study found.

The Bureau of Land Management manages most of the underground mineral rights in the area, but about 90 percent of the land is private or state owned. Only about 6 percent of the project’s 1,500 well pads will be built on bureau land.

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