BLM honors energy companies
For Sustainable Development Practices
by Bureau of Land Management
August 17, 2007
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Deputy Director Jim Hughes today announced the winners of the 2007 Oil, Gas and Geothermal Development Environmental Best Management Practices (BMP) Awards. The awards recognize oil, gas and geothermal operators or right-of-way grantees and their partners who are demonstrating leadership and creativity in reducing the impacts of developing natural gas, oil, and geothermal resources on public lands.
Three operators were honored for their use of BMPs:
• For Distinguished Integration of Environmental BMPs into Geophysical Exploration, BP America Production Co. and Dawson Geophysical Co. for a 2005 seismic project in the New Mexico portion of the San Juan Basin. The use of vibroseis machines, helicopters, pedestrians and/or ATV crews allowed BP and Dawson to minimize impacts to vegetation and wildlife in the area.
• For Most Improved Environmental Practices in a Highly Developed Oil & Gas Field, EnCana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. for recent enhancements to its natural gas operation in Wyoming’s Jonah Field. EnCana laid down wooden oak mats on well sites in the field to minimize soil disturbance, and integrated “flareless flowback” systems into its operation that eliminated most of the NOx emissions from its wells.
• For Integration of New Technologies to Reduce the Environmental Footprint of Development, Williams Exploration and Production Co. for its design and introduction of a rig in the Colorado’s Piceance Basin that allows it to drill and complete 22 natural gas wells on a single pad. Use of the rig enables Williams to shorten its production cycle, minimize impacts to wildlife and noise disturbances, and reduce truck traffic.
The BMP awards are given on an annual basis. Operators, regulatory authorities, surface management agencies, Indian tribes or individual Indian landowners, other private landowners, trade organizations, or members of the general public may nominate operators. Company officials or staff may also nominate their own operations. A panel composed of BLM representatives, the energy industry, and representatives of conservation groups reviewed the nominations.
Environmental BMPs are innovative, dynamic, and economically feasible mitigation measures applied on a site-specific basis to reduce, prevent, or avoid adverse environmental impacts of energy development projects. By reducing the area of disturbance, adjusting the location of facilities, and utilizing various other techniques to minimize environmental effects, oil, gas, and geothermal operators are significantly reducing wildlife habitat and scenic quality impacts associated with new energy development on public lands. More information about BMPs is available at www.blm.gov/bmp.
The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The BLM accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.