SG Interests I has filed a notice of staking with BLM to drill a mancos formation test within the Wolf Creek Storage Unit in Mesa County. The proposed well is located on a lease which is part of approximately 30,000 acres of federal leases SG has previously proposed to exchange for other federal leases in Mesa, Delta and Gunnison counties.
"SG proposed and still fully supports a narrow congressional effort to resolve oil and gas development conflicts in the Thompson Divide area," said Robbie Guinn, SG's vice president for land. "Our company is leading the way to find a resolution by working to achieve a narrow lease exchange framework that will resolve those conflicts. At the same time, SG has an obligation to pursue a parallel business plan to develop leases we currently own in the event that Congress does not adopt the exchange proposal or a similar proposal in a timely manner. The notice of staking is merely the first step in a plan of development that can be terminated if the legislative exchange of leases is successful."
Guinn explained that a narrow lease exchange that respects Thompson Divide stakeholder objectives without expanding the scope is more likely to succeed in Congress. He also noted that SG was not invited to participate in the talks concerning expanding the scope of the exchange. He said, "Had we been included as a stakeholder, SG would have made it clear that the timeline required to address all conflicts related to natural resource development on federal land on the Western Slope would not work for SG, larger industry or our federal partners."
SG owns the rights to develop below the base of the Mesa Verde Formation in the approximately 9,600-acre Wolf Creek Storage Unit. The Wolf Creek Storage Unit is adjacent to SG's proposed Lake Ridge Unit and the leases in the Wolf Creek Storage Unit are held indefinitely and now subject to the BLM's retroactive NEPA process covering 65 existing leases in the White River National Forest and therefore not subject to being voided by the BLM.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.