"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday signed -- and hailed -- Utah’s latest natural-gas drilling plan as an environmentally sensitive leap toward energy security."
"Flanked by cooperative representatives from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance at a pipeline compressor station in western Salt Lake City, Salazar signed his department’s approval for the 3,675-well Greater Natural Buttes development south of Vernal. The eastern Utah project is expected to create several thousand jobs at peak construction and average 1,700 a year for a decade while pumping 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with enhanced emissions and vapor recovery.
Because Anadarko agreed to do it without infringing on the White River’s wilderness qualities -- and even purchase river lands for protection -- SUWA endorsed the plan in what Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey called a model for collaboration.
'The world today,' Salazar said, 'should just simply stand back and say, ‘Wow, how did they do it?’ '
The development covers 163,000 acres, much of it previously disturbed by drilling, and the company will turn up soil on only 5 percent of the undisturbed acreage. The 3,675-well potential represents a significant boost to state output that just passed 10,000 oil and gas wells at the end of 2011."
Brandon Loomis reports for the Salt Lake Tribune May 8, 2012.
"Salazar Approves Utah Gas Wells" (AP)