An oil and gas project that would develop 5,000 new wells over 1.5 million acres of private, forest service, Bureau of Land Management, and state land in Converse County has taken a step forward. The BLM has released a draft version of the project’s environmental impact statement.
Chesapeake Energy, SM Energy, Anadarko Resources, Devon Energy, and EOG Resources jointly filed a notice of intent in 2014 to open up petroleum and natural gas reserves in eastern Wyoming.
The BLM said the project would create 8,000 jobs over its 40-year lifespan – both in Wyoming and other states. Ashlie Fahrer, public affairs specialist for the BLM Wyoming state office, explained how that would break down.
"That number includes a wide variety of jobs, everything from construction, truck drivers, and engineers, to accountants and managers,” Fahrer said.
With the release of the draft environmental impact statement, a public comment period is now open.
“We want to know what the public feels about the project, whether they are in favor of the project, whether they suggest some different changes to how we’re reviewing and analyzing the wildlife or the number of wells, where they should be, things like that,” Fahrer said.
Sage grouse and pronghorn, in particular, could be affected by development. Fahrer said she also expects to hear comments about the project's impact on grazing. The comment period ends March 12. The draft environmental impact statement and other public documents related to it can be found here.