BLM ok’s Encana Mat Drilling Project
Pinedale BLM Issues its Decision Record
by Bureau of Land Management
October 5, 2005
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Pinedale has issued its Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record (DR) for the proposed Encana Low Impact Drilling Project. EnCana will test and evaluate new techniques within their leases of the Jonah oil and gas field that may reduce impacts from infill drilling within the Jonah field. The BLM has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the EnCana Mat Drilling Pilot Project and has determined the FONSI.
The project will be research-oriented in order to test alternatives to directional drilling that will reduce surface disturbance and drilling rig emissions. The BLM approved 45 wells drilled from 43 pad locations within three different pilot areas with varying topography, vegetation resources, and soil types.
The project area lies within the Jonah Field, located approximately 32 miles southeast of Pinedale and 28 miles northwest of Farson, Wyoming. Pilot Area One will have 20 wells; Pilot Area Two covers 14 wells; and Pilot Area Three includes 11 wells. Each pilot area will be testing variables with the use of large wooden mats to construct roads and drilling locations.
Wooden mats for drilling pads have been successfully used in other areas such as Canada and Louisiana. Variables will be tested on the pad and road locations before and after laying mats down for drilling. Treatment testing include: mowing, aerating, mulching, fertilizing, seeding, irrigating, fencing, and soil compaction tests.
EnCana will also use pit-less drilling techniques, low-impact pipeline construction, temporary surface lines, flare-less flow-back equipment, centralized production facilities, improved reclamation practices, and data gathering and monitoring.
EnCana’s proposal, dated August 1, 2005, is on file with the BLM Pinedale Field Office and is available for public review.