GLENWOOD SPRINGS - A Texas-based gas drilling company now has a total of six gas well applications on five proposed drilling sites in the Thompson Divide area south of the Sunlight Mountain Resort ski area, according to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman.
On Nov. 13, SG Interests of Houston, filed one application for a permit to drill (APD) and three notifications of staking (NOS), all in the same general area, according to BLM spokesman Dave Boyd.
On Oct. 17 and 29, the company filed its first two APDs for the area, on gas leases to the north of the sites in the Nov. 13 filing.
The area is the focus of controversy and opposition led by the Thompson Divide Coalition, which hopes to prevent drilling in the relatively undeveloped area.
The Thompson Divide area covers about 221,500 acres west of the Crystal River, north of McClure Pass and south of Sunlight Mountain Resort. About 82 percent of the area is public land. Gas companies hold 81 leases on 105,000 acres of public lands.
The purpose of the NOS filings, Boyd said, is for federal officials to conduct inspections to verify that the leases in question are valid, and to discuss concerns with the company related to the drilling plans.
All of the drilling sites from the Nov. 13 filing are located in the area generally known as Middle Thompson Creek, roughly six miles south and a little west from the ski area, Boyd explained.
They are in sections 5, 8 and 18 between Mid Thompson Park and Lake Ridge, as depicted on the White River National Forest map of the region.
So far, the company has filed documents for five well pads, including separate filings for two wells that would be located on one well pad but would be drilling into two distinct leases, Boyd reported.
In July, SG Interests notified federal land managers that it would be seeking to put seven to nine well pads in the Thompson Divide area.