BLM releases Record of Decision for Normally Pressured Lance Natural Gas Project
The Preferred Alternative is approved
by Bureau of Land Management
August 28, 2018
PINEDALE, WYOMING – Today (Tuesday, August 28, 2018) the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming issued the Record of Decision for the Normally Pressured Lance (NPL) Natural Gas Development Project.
In keeping with the Department’s goal of energy independence, the NPL project could unlock up to 7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and between 17.5 and 140 million barrels of oil over the 40-year life of the project. The proposed project could also create approximately 950 jobs during the development phase and generate $17.85 billion in total project revenues with Federal royalties amounting to about $2.2 billion, of which about $1.1 billion would go to the State of Wyoming.
The NPL project is located immediately south and west of the existing Jonah Gas Field in Sublette County, Wyoming. Jonah Energy LLC is proposing to drill up to 3,500 directional natural gas wells over a 10-year period. The project encompasses approximately 141,000 acres of public, State, and private lands. Approximately 96 percent of the project area is on public lands managed by the BLM within its High Desert District. The Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS was first published on April 12, 2011, and BLM Wyoming released the Final EIS for the NPL Natural Gas Development project on June 22, 2018.
"The NPL project highlights both BLM’s multiple use, sustained yield mission and the important role partnerships play in a project like this," said BLM Wyoming State Director Mary Jo Rugwell. "I couldn’t be prouder of the dedicated BLM employees in both the Pinedale and Rock Springs Field Offices who did an outstanding job balancing energy development while conserving important resources like sagebrush, big game habitats, and air quality for future generations. Our work with the State of Wyoming, Jonah Energy, local governments, and other interested groups resulted in a project beneficial the taxpayers of Wyoming and the rest of America."
A copy of the entire NPL Final EIS and Record of Decision is available at https://go.usa.gov/xnp3E.
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Click here for the Record of Decision (PDF): https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/57654/155638/190417/NPL_Record_of_Decision_2018_0827.pdf
The BLM has determined that the analysis contained within the NPL Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is adequate for the purposes of reaching an informed decision regarding the NPL Project. This Record of Decision (ROD) applies only to the BLM-administered public lands, including federal mineral estate, within the Project Area. The BLM hereby selects and approves the FEIS Preferred Alternative, which was developed in response to comments received during scoping and on the Draft EIS, and was designed to allow for development under valid existing lease rights while conserving a broad range of resource values. The density of development and development limitations for the Preferred Alternative were based on a broad range of environmental concerns, including wildlife habitat, visual resources, paleontological resources, surface water features, identified lands with wilderness characteristics, and other resources. The Preferred Alternative is approved in this ROD. Specific aspects of this approval (the decision) are outlined in subsequent portions of this ROD. Under the decision, Jonah Energy LLC is approved to submit site-specific applications for natural gas drilling and related development on federal lands within the Project Area (Map 1) as described in the NPL Project FEIS under the BLM’s Preferred Alternative, and in Section 3 (The Decision) of this ROD. Further, future exploration and development activities, applications for permits to drill (APDs) and Rights of Way (ROW) are subject to the required design features, Conditions of Approval (COAs), terms and conditions, and mitigation measures presented in Appendix A (Resource Protection Measures), which may be applied as COAs during sitespecific permitting and authorization processes. Prior to any project-related operations occurring on public lands other than casual use, required applications must be submitted to and considered by the BLM as part of the requirements set forth for APDs and ROW. No surface disturbance will be initiated on BLM-administered public land until the APD or other application for project related development is approved by the BLM, following site-specific environmental review and NEPA compliance during each appropriate process. Under the decision, Jonah Energy can submit APDs and related ROW for as many as 3,500 natural gas wells, associated infrastructure and ancillary facilities, resulting in up to 350 wells site-specifically approved per year during the approximate 10-year development period. BLM hereby approves up to 5,874 acres of short-term disturbance and up to 1,741 acres of long-term disturbance during the anticipated 40-year life of the project as the result of site-specific proposals. Development under the decision is subject to and will be implemented in accordance with laws, policies, and approved land use plans, including the Approved Pinedale RMP/ROD (2008), Approved Green River RMP/ROD (1997), and Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments (ARMPA) for the Rocky Mountain Region (BLM 2015a).