BLM holds open houses on oil shale leases
In an effort to keep the public informed of the Bureau of Land Management’s oil shale research, development and demonstration process, the White River Field Office and industry representatives will host a series of public open house meetings on the Western Slope.The meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to comment, learn about the BLM’s environmental review process for each of Colorado’s six RD&D proposals, and speak to representatives from each of the four nominating companies.The open houses will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the following locations: Tuesday, March 28, Rangely High School, 234 South Jones Ave., Rangely; Thursday, March 30, Fairfield Center, 200 Main St., Meeker; Tuesday, April 4, Garfield County Fairgrounds Event Hall, Rifle; Thursday, April 6, DoubleTree Hotel; 743 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction.”We want to make sure that the public is a part of the environmental review process, and ultimately that their input is considered when we make final leasing decisions on these oil shale proposals,” said Kent Walter, White River Field Manager.A total of six RD&D nominations for 160-acre parcels in Colorado are moving forward for further consideration, including three nominations from Shell, and one each from Chevron Shale Oil Co., EGL Resources Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.Each of the proposals involve in-place retorting, which does not permanently modify the land surface. All current methods for processing oil shale require heating the rock to mimic the geologic processes that produced conventional deposits of oil and natural gas. The environmental analysis on each proposal will help the BLM determine whether current technologies will result in less surface disturbance than earlier methods.No RD&D lease will be awarded without certainty that the technology used will operate at environmentally acceptable levels.
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