Ursa asks BLM to suspend Thompson Divide leases

thompson divide aerialLast week SG Interests asked the BLM to suspend 16 leases in the Thompson Divide area. The leases are due to expire in May and August this year. Suspension of the leases would stop the clock and eliminate the expiration factor.

SG Interests seeks ‘suspension’ of Thompson Divide leases
Opponents want BLM to allow 30-day comment period

SG Interests letter to BLM February. 13, 2013

On Tuesday, February 19, Ursa Piceance also asked the BLM to suspend its leases, known as the proposed Wolf Springs Unit. At the close of 2012, Ursa Resources purchased Antero’s assets in the Piceance Basin and formed Ursa Piceance. The transfer of leases from Antero to Ursa has not yet been approved by the BLM so the request for suspension was filed jointly by Antero and Ursa.

Ursa Piceance letter to BLM February 19, 2013

Last year, Antero and SG Interests applied for unitization of their Thompson Divide leases. Antero’s proposed Wolf Springs Unit and SGI’s proposed Lake Ridge Unit have not yet been approved by the BLM. Unitization is a pooling of leases that extends those leases beyond the BLM’s 10-year term limit.

The Thompson Divide Coalition and the Wilderness Workshop oppose unitization and suspension of the SGI and Ursa/Antero leases.

From Wilderness Workshop via Facebook

“The leases that Ursa wants BLM to suspend are plagued by the same legal and environmental inadequacies as SGI’s leases in the Lake Ridge area. These leases were issued by BLM without requisite NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act], in violation of the Endangered Species Act, and the Forest Service consented to issuance of the leases without regard to the 2001 Roadless Rule. The only appropriate course of action for land managers at this point is to let these illegal leases expire.”

Take action to urge the BLM to deny suspension applications in the Thompson Divide area.

For more information:  Thompson Divide Drilling Proposal Information

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