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2004 Reasonable Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas

Publication Information

Author(s):
Fred Crockett
Dean P Stilwell
Publication Date: 2004-01
Tags: WLCI Agency Report

The Rawlins Field Office area lies within south-central and southeast Wyoming (Figure 1). The main goals of our analysis of a Reasonable Foreseeable Development scenario were to technically analyze the oil and gas resource occurring within the Field Office area and to project future development potential and activity levels for the period 2001 through 2020. It is a base line scenario and thus it assumes that future activity levels will not be constrained by management-imposed conditions (Rocky Mountain Federal Leadership Forum, 2002). We have recognized current legislatively imposed restrictions that could affect future activity levels and constrained this base line scenario where those types of restrictions have been applied to lands within the Field Office area.

The Reasonable Foreseeable Development scenario presented below reviews past and present exploratory and production operations and activities. It also presents occurrence potential for oil and gas, coalbed gas, and deep hydrocarbons (at depths greater than 15,000 feet) as well as available estimates of the hydrocarbon resources that may be present within the Field Office area. Factors used to project future activities include (but are not limited to) a review of published oil and gas resource information (including a number of on-line databases) for the area, a call for data from oil and gas operators, future oil and gas price estimates, petroleum technology research and development, geophysical activity, bid performance at lease sales, limitations on access, and infrastructure. The Reasonable Foreseeable Development scenario presented is not a worst-case scenario, but a reasonable and science based projection of the anticipated oil and gas activity that is based on information obtained and analyzed, and uses logical and technically based assumptions to make its projections.

Four management alternatives were evaluated for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Rawlins Field Office Resource Management Plan. Each alternative contains management imposed restrictions that may negatively affect oil and gas development. These restrictions can effectively decrease the base line estimated number of well locations in areas of Federal oil and gas ownership. For each alternative, we have analyzed the restrictions and estimated the number of well locations that could be reduced from the base line total. If restrictions for an alternative were determined to affect our base line projections of development potential, an additional development potential map was constructed.

Total Federal gas resource ownership in the Field Office area amounts to 5,280,720 acres (Advanced Resources International, 2001). The Bureau of Land Management (77%) and Forest Service (22%) manage most of the Federal mineral lands in the Field Office area. The Bureau of Reclamation and Fish and Wildlife Service manage smaller amounts of the Federal mineral lands. State and private minerals lands also lie within Field Office boundaries. Analysis prepared below includes data and information obtained from detailed research and makes future projections for all mineral land ownerships within the Field Office area.

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