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2006 Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas: Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, Kemmerer Field Office, Wyoming

Publication Information

Publication Date: 2006-10
Tags: WLCI Agency Report

This Kemmerer planning area Reasonable Foreseeable Development (RFD) Scenario is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Resource Management Plan (RMP) revision process. The purpose of the document is to provide land management planners with estimates of potential oil and gas occurrences and projections of oil and gas exploration and production activity within the planning area for the period 2001 through 2020. The information will be incorporated into the RMP and its associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Located in the southwestern corner of Wyoming, the Kemmerer planning area includes most of Uinta and Lincoln counties, the western portion of Sweetwater County, and a small area of Sublette County. Within the planning area are 1.4 million acres of public land and 1.6 million acres of federal mineral estate managed by the BLM.

Geologically, the planning area is part of both the Wyoming Overthrust Belt Province and the Southwestern Wyoming Province, which includes the Greater Green River Basin. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has performed extensive studies of the oil and gas resources of the area. In 1995, they issued an assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas potential for the two provinces. This information, along with other studies sponsored by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), and information provided by the BLM’s Wyoming State Office Reservoir Management Group (RMG), was used to estimate the remaining undiscovered potential within the planning area. These studies indicate that between 137 and 179 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas may be in place within the Green River Basin portion of the planning area. Estimates for undiscovered potential within the Green River Basin portion of the area range from 1.6 Tcf of gas and 27 million barrels (MMBbl) of oil to 14.3 Tcf of gas and 252 MMBbl of oil and natural gas liquids. The Overthrust Belt Province has not been studied as extensively, but the most recent estimates place the undiscovered potential within the planning area between 1.1 and 19.5 Tcf of gas and between 170 and 3,143 MMBbl of oil and natural gas liquids.

Using historical activity information from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, private industry, the DWIGHTS production database, and the RMG, along with interviews with oil and gas companies on projections of future activity, an estimate of future oil and gas exploration activity was developed. During the period from 2001 through 2020, baseline drilling activity is anticipated to average around 100 wells per year for non-coalbed natural gas resources (2,040 wells total) with an additional 32 wells per year to be drilled to develop coalbed natural gas resources (640 wells total) during the next 20 years. Using guidelines developed by the BLM, this activity may result in approximately 9,800 net disturbed acres during the study period.

Alternatives A, B, C, and D are described in detail. The alternatives are created through a combination of baseline data and agency created constraints from resource management decisions. Alternative A is the no action alternative, and alternative D is the agency preferred alternative. Alternatives A and D are similar in total wells drilled during the planning period and long-term surface disturbance. Alternative C is the resource development scenario having a slighter greater number of wells drilled and long-term surface disturbance. Alternatives A, C, and D are similar in forecasted oil and gas production during the planning period. Alternative B represents the resource conservation scenario and has less total wells drilled, long-term surface disturbance, and forecasted production of oil and gas as compared to Alternatives A, C, and D.

No recommendations for oil and gas resource management have been developed at this time. Appropriate recommendations relating to management of future oil and gas activity within the Kemmerer planning area will be developed during the RMP revision.

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