CHEYENNE — Encana Oil & Gas, USA, is proposing to drill as many as 3,500 gas wells on 220 square miles of previously undrilled land in the Upper Green River Basin. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management began taking initial public comments on the project this week.
If approved, the project would more than double the number of natural gas wells in western Wyoming’s biggest fields.
While ‘the Jonah’ is located in a sparsely populated area, southwest Wyoming has seen ozone levels on occasion that rival the large metropolitan cities where it is commonly found in the summer. Heavy drilling during the last two decades has resulted in 1,500 wells in the Jonah Field and 1,400 in the neighboring Pinedale Anticline field. Oil and gas developers have taken measures to reduce emissions that help create the air pollution. EnCana, the biggest developer, has installed emission control equipment and brought in drilling rigs that run on clean-burning natural gas to help control the pollution.
Officials from Encana estimate the new drilling planned for west and south of Jonah would create more than 700 jobs and bring in an estimated $8.75 billion in taxes and royalties over 30 years.