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Obama Administration approves Anadarko major natural gas project for Uinta Basin in Utah; 3,675 new wells over next 10 years

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved a major natural gas project in Utah’s Uinta Basin. By signing the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Greater Natural Buttes Project, proposed by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Secretary Salazar approved up to 3,675 new gas wells in an existing gas producing area in Uintah County, Utah.

The decision follows a comprehensive public consultation and conservation stakeholder involvement effort that strove to balance energy production and environmental protection.

The project encompasses approximately 163,000 acres but will bring new surface disturbance to only 5% of that area (approximately 8,100 acres) as a result of the 1,484 well pads approved in the ROD, which would be drilled over a period of 10 years.

Water use is estimated to be 2.06 acre-feet per well. An estimated 7,571 acre-feet of fresh water will be required to drill and complete 3,675 wells or approximately 757 acre-feet each year for the projected 10-year drilling period. Recycling efforts will be implemented to reduce water use.

In 2011, US natural gas production grew by more than 7%—the largest year-over-year volumetric increase in history—and easily eclipsed the previous production record set in 1973.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) prepared the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) or the project in coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Uintah County, which participated as formal cooperating agencies during the EIS process. The BLM also closely coordinated with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure their concerns were addressed.

As a result of a collaborative process among federal, state, local and tribal governments, Anadarko and the Utah conservation community, the project will implement best management practices in the project area to safeguard air quality and protect crucial big game winter range, sage-grouse and sage-grouse habitat, sensitive soils, visual effects and recreational use.

The process that led to today’s decision is also in line with President Obama’s Executive Order to coordinate the efforts of federal agencies responsible for overseeing domestic natural gas development.

The leases proposed for infill development in the FEIS have valid existing rights, some of which date back to the early 1950s. The total estimated cumulative disturbance, including the existing gas development and proposed project, would be 20,615 acres, or about 12.7% of the area.

The ROD was prepared after a 30-day waiting period on the FEIS, which was released on 5 April 2012.



We LIKE this President. But WHAT will the nation do with all this NG??

Now would be an excellent time for the NLs to crash develop SOFC micro-CHP systems to replace residential grid demand. With SO much NG around there is a problem of where to store it. Unless there is mass conversion to NG ICE - which is essentially a backward step in automotive development.


Conversion of coal burning electric plants to gas would be one use for excess gas.


PS When you say WE like this president,speak for yourself, he has done a few good things but he is putting us in the same financial position as Greece and Spain. I was surprised the admin. approved all of these wells.


Jimr, we have our own currency so there is no similarity to Greece and Spain. Also, 80% of our deficit are the wars Republicans started and the Bush Tax Cuts. So you must be a Democrat, yes? Because if you are concerned about fiscal responsibility you would support Democratic policies and not Republican ones....


Reel$$, yes I agree we have a tremendous problem with all this domestically produced energy. I like the idea that we convert coal electricity to gas electricity production too, keeping in mind that many people use gas for home heating, so it's good to keep the price down. The Jimr is puzzling isn't he? He compares us to Spain and Greece. I don't see it.


President Harry S Truman said, "If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat."


Conversion of coal burning electric plants to gas would be one use for excess gas
Or use small gas turbines as air pre-heaters and forced-draft devices for coal boilers.  This would effectively turn it into a duct-burning combined-cycle plant.

LNG fuel for heavy trucks is another great option.  NG is extremely cheap, and displacing ULSD allows the ULSD to be exported.  That's a major money-maker already.


The Wrong Wing wants to have their cake and eat it too. All this time they've been spreading the fiction that Obama is anti-energy and obstructing drilling but when you prove that false they start saying stuff like 'we're drilling too much gas, it will depress the prices.'


Good observations E-P.

How would you manage the Coal and oil lobbies, when part of their business is taken over by NG?

Coal and Oil people would use their accumulated $$$B to fight whoever trying to do that. They have enough money to elect a pro Coal/Oil President.


2 acre-feet of water per well, 3600 wells. Where do you find 2.4 BILLION gallons of water in Utah? And is that the best use of that water?


This is intended to produce more votes, not more NG.

Like I said before, if you are behind this president, don't get too close, you'll get run over.

He thinks this is how G-Dubya won a second term. I hope we don’t invade a country next.

Is it true that when he bragged about killing Osama he had a little fake blood on his sleeve?


TT is not always very reasonable?


TT - probably like the guys who ran the mission.


Ideally, the water produced from one well would be used to frac another one.


The 3,675 new wells would bring the total estimated cumulative disturbance to 20,615 acres.

What's next? - - ANWR

The US House voted 237-187 (21 Dems in favor, 21 GOP against) for the twelfth time in 37 years to open ANWR to oil/gas development.

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