Comments needed for first scoping period, oil and gas lease sale by BLM
September 3, 2016
The first public comment period for the May 2017 Competitive Oil & Gas Lease Sale in Grand County ends on September 7.
The scoping period for the May lease sale of 100,000 acres includes land in Grand, Jackson and Routt County. 27,529 acres are in Grand County with about 10,700 acres in split estates, which means there are federal minerals under private surface. As of Friday, September 2 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials have sent letters to landowners who are part of the split estates.
Comments must be received by September 7. David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist for the NW Colorado District said citizens should be gathering information before they write comments for this first comment period.
"The more specific they can be in the comments, the more helpful the comments are," he said.
This is the first opportunity for comments before the BLM starts writing the environmental assessment, which will detail the environmental and social impact to the potential leases.
"We identify the issues and if someone looks at the map and has concerns or issues they want us to look at, these are the comments we want to see," said Boyd.
"The sooner people can be involved the more effective they can be."
In November the environmental assessment will be available for public comments.
In February 2017, the BLM will make the decision on which parcels will be available for the lease sale and a 30-day protest period will begin after.
Federal leases are for 10 years. If a company produces oil and gas it doesn't expire. Leasing doesn't necessarily mean that companies will develop the property, said Boyd.
If they get the lease, it doesn't authorize development. Companies would still need a permit to drill from the state of Colorado and from local authorities, he said.
According to Boyd, there are five leases in Grand County, which are held by Sandridge Exploration and Production, LLC, out of Oklahoma City. The leases were issued in 2007 and are scheduled to expire at the end of February 2017.
There has been no oil and gas development or proposed development on these leases.
The leases are in the northwest corner of the county, under private lands east of the intersections of US Highway 14 and 40. The leases include lands in Jackson County.
Comments should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the White River Field Office, Attn: May 2017 Lease Sale, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, CO 81641.