WPR News
9:53 am
Thu April 12, 2007

First Week of No New Wells Since 1998

Gillette, WY – No new coal-bed methane wells were drilled
in Wyoming over the week that ended Wednesday. The supervisor of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Don Likwartz, says it's the longest that Wyoming has gone without a new well since 1998. Likwartz suspects that regulations imposed by the Bureau of Land Management to protect breeding sage grouse are responsible for the lull. The B-L-M rules forbid drilling and related activity within two miles of a sage grouse lek, or strutting ground, each March 1 to June 15. The rules are hitting the Powder River Basin coal-bed methane fields especially hard while new drilling progresses westward into more sage grouse habitat.