More gas leases extended within BLM study area |

More gas leases extended within BLM study area

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Thursday granted extensions for four oil and gas leases located on the White River National Forest within an area where a total of 65 leases are being reviewed by the BLM.

The leases are held by Denver-based WillSource Enterprise, and are located in the middle portion of the BLM’s ongoing review area, along the Garfield and Mesa county lines south of Silt.

According to BLM spokeswoman Courtney Whiteman, WillSource requested the lease “suspensions” last summer. Suspension is the formal term for asking that undeveloped leases be extended beyond their expiration date.

In this case, as with other previously issued leases that were suspended in the broader area that includes the Thompson Divide region south of Glenwood Springs, the decision was based on the BLM’s ongoing Environmental Impact Study. The EIS is intended to review older leases that were issued under a 1993 leasing management plan, but most of which have not been developed.

Suspensions involving several energy companies that have leases in the area will last until the EIS is complete, “or until it is deemed no longer warranted,” Whiteman said.

The WillSource leases were issued in 1996 and are part of a larger unit of leases that have some actively producing natural gas wells. Two of the newly suspended leases have had drilling activity but are not producing, Whiteman said.

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