BLM releases draft EA for NPL

SUBLETTE COUNTY – In its ongoing effort to provide opportunities for responsible energy development, support the creation of jobs and facilitate positive economic impacts to local communities, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its initial environmental analysis of a major natural gas development in Wyoming on Friday, July 7.

Now appearing in the Federal Register, the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Normally Pressured Lance (NPL) Natural Gas Development Project identifies a range of alternatives as to how the project can move forward. The document is available for a 45-day public comment period.

The proposed project, which was submitted by Jonah Energy LLC, could unlock 5.25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, providing a reliable, long-term energy source for the nation and creating more than 700 full-time jobs and stable employment opportunities for southwestern Wyoming. The project could also create $2.2 billion in royalties, half of which would go to the state of Wyoming.

The project encompasses approximately 141,000 acres of public, state and private lands, with the vast majority – approximately 96 percent – located on public lands. Situated south and west of the existing Jonah Gas Field in Sublette County, the project proposes up to 3,500 directionally drilled wells over a 10-year period. All alternatives in the NPL DEIS conform to the BLM-Wyoming’s Pinedale Field Office Resource Management Plan Record of Decision (2008), as amended, and the Green River Resource Management Plan Record of Decision (1997).

The proposed action includes drilling up to 3,500 directionally drilled natural gas wells during a 10-year development period at a rate of up to 350 wells per year. Jonah Energy anticipates drilling at an average well density of one bottom-hole per 40 acres. Disturbance for each multi-well pad location would range between approximately 5.5 and 19 surface acres, with each multi-well pad supporting up to 64 wells. Ancillary facilities associated with the proposed natural gas wells include standard equipment on well pads (e.g., well heads, solar panels), water disposal wells, existing and new pipelines, powerlines, access roads, and regional gathering facilities (RGFs). 

According to the BLM’s “preferred alternative,” the project area would be divided into three development areas with varying densities of development based on the range of resources including wildlife resources, visual resources, paleontological resources, surface-water features, identified lands with wilderness characteristics and other resources.

Under the alternative, the maximum number of wells would be the same as for the Proposed Action but there would be reduced density of development in the northwestern portion of the project area due to the range of resources present in that area. 

The BLM must receive comments by Aug. 21, 2017. Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to NPL EIS Project Manager
BLM Pinedale Field Office,
P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, WY 82941.

The BLM will also hold two public meetings on the project, including one in Pinedale on Tuesday, July 25, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the BLM Pinedale Field Office, located at 1625 W. Pine St. in
There will also be one on
Wednesday, July 26, at the BLM High Desert District Office in Rock Springs, located at 280 Highway 191 North. 

If you choose to submit a comment, please be advised that your entire comment – including any personal identifying information (i.e., address, phone number or email address) – may be publicly available. While you may request in your comment that BLM withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

All project documents are available at

For more information, contact Liz Dailey at 307-367-5310 or by email at [email protected].


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