[Federal Register: July 29, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 146)]
[Page 43948-43949]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Bureau of Land Management


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Beaver Creek Coal Bed Natural Gas Development Project, Wyoming

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lander Field Office 
intends to prepare an Environmental

[[Page 43949]]

Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed coal bed natural gas (CBNG) 
development approximately 9 miles southeast of Riverton, Wyoming. The 
proposed development project is known as the Beaver Creek Coal Bed 
Natural Gas Development Project (Project), located in Fremont County, 

DATES: The BLM will announce public scoping meetings hosted in Lander 
and Riverton, Wyoming to identify relevant issues through local media, 
newsletters, individual mailings, and the BLM Web site at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/lfodocs/beavercreek_cbng.html at least 15 days 
prior to each meeting. We will provide additional opportunities for 
public participation upon publication of the Draft EIS, including a 
minimum 45-day public comment period.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your issues and comments related to the 
Beaver Creek Coal Bed Natural Gas Development Project EIS by any of the 
following methods:
     Web Site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/lfodocs/beavercreek_cbng.html.
     E-mail: Curtis_Bryan@blm.gov.
     Fax: 307-332-8444.
     Mail: Lander Field Office, 1335 Main Street, Lander, WY 
    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Lander 
Field Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, contact 
Curtis Bryan, Telephone (307) 332-8400; E-mail: Curtis_Bryan@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document provides notice that the BLM 
Lander Field Office, Lander, Wyoming, intends to prepare an EIS on the 
potential impacts of a proposed natural gas field development, 
ancillary facilities, pipelines, and roads. The Beaver Creek Project 
area is located 9 miles southeast of the town of Riverton in Fremont 
County, Wyoming. The proposed Project is within the Beaver Creek Unit 
in Township 33 North, Range 96 West, in all or portions of Sections 1-
4, 9-16, 21-23, and 28-29; Township 34, Range 96 West, in all or 
portions of Sections 20-28 and 33-36 (6th Principal Meridian). The 
Beaver Creek Project area encompasses approximately 16,515 acres. 
Approximately 82 percent of the Project area is public lands and 
Federal mineral estate administered by the BLM, with some interspersed 
State and private lands and other mineral estate.
    The Proponent, Devon Energy Production Co. LP (Devon) has submitted 
a proposal to drill up to 228 natural gas wells, of which 208 would 
produce CBNG and about 20 would produce conventional natural gas. The 
estimated drilling and completion period would occur over the course of 
5 to 10 years and the life of the project is anticipated to be between 
20 and 40 years. Devon proposes to drill the CBNG wells at a density of 
one well every 40 acres. The proposed CBNG wells are expected to be 
drilled vertically and would be completed in the Mesa Verde formation, 
while the proposed conventional gas wells would likely be completed in 
the Madison and Phosphoria formations. Because the target formations 
are located in different geologic formations, conventional gas wells 
may overlap with the CBNG well density. Facilities associated with the 
proposed project include access roads, pipelines, overhead power lines, 
central production facilities, four water disposal (re-injection) 
wells, two evaporation ponds, and equipment storage areas. The Beaver 
Creek Unit has experienced extensive gas development over the last 50 
years, and the Proponent would utilize existing roads and facilities to 
the extent practical. During the short-term, while well pads are in 
construction, pad size is expected to be about 2.5 acres for each the 
CBNG wells and about 3 acres for conventional wells. This would result 
in an estimated total short-term well pad disturbance of about 565 
acres. Following reclamation, an estimated 390 acres of surface from 
well pads would be left without vegetation and disturbance. 
Approximately 24 miles of new access roads would be constructed with 
most new roads developed as laterals off existing roads. Total 
disturbance associated with the construction of access roads is 
estimated to be approximately 117 acres. These roads would be open for 
the life of the project. In the short-term, construction and 
installation of approximately 66 miles of new pipelines and overhead 
powerlines would disturb approximately 550 acres, most of which would 
be reclaimed for the long-term.
    Produced water from the wells would be disposed of into four 
proposed water disposal (re-injection) wells and two proposed 
evaporation ponds. The injection wells would serve as the primary 
method of produced water disposal. No surface discharge of produced 
water is proposed.
    During the drilling phase of the proposed project, Devon estimates 
that the total short-term surface disturbance would be approximately 
1,280 acres. After reclamation and for the life of the proposed 
project, Devon estimates that the long-term surface disturbance would 
be about 550 acres.
    Major issues identified at this time include: Potential impacts to 
air quality; disposal of produced waste water; and the potential 
effects of development and production on surface resources including 
vegetation, cultural resources, and wildlife habitat.
    In addition to the proposed action and the no action alternatives, 
other alternatives may be developed. These may include: An alternative 
that considers less than 228 wells; an alternative that considers re-
injection of some or all produced water; and an alternative that would 
eliminate the need for overhead power lines by requiring the proponent 
to bury all power lines.

Martin G. Griffith,
Acting State Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-17327 Filed 7-28-08; 8:45 am]