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A Case History of Exploration and Development of Natural Gas Resources in from Environmentally Sensitive Area - West Tavaputs Plateau, Utah

Duane Zavadil
Bill Barrett Corporation, Denver, CO

Bill Barrett Corporation has prevailed in taking a natural gas development project from rank geologic prospect to field that will soon yield nearly a quarter of all the gas produced in Utah. This success was achieved even though the area is host to, among other issues, a high density of nationally significant cultural resources, sage grouse habitat, critical habitat for big game, and wilderness study areas. The process was time consuming but ultimately successful through persistence, a thorough understanding of the issues, application of innovative mitigation strategies and legal support. The process required preparation of several Environmental Assessments and an Environmental Impact Statement. Several legal challenges were rebuffed. Community support has proven vital to the success of the project.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90092©2009 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, July 9-11, 2008, Denver, Colorado