Monday, June 7, 2010

County, Barrett negotiate with SUWA over Tavaputs access

Long time allies on drilling for gas in the Tavaputs Plateau, Bill Barrett Corporation and Carbon County have been at odds for a couple of months over efforts by the Denver-based company to remove obstacles to its five -year pursuit of federal approval for year-round drilling in the 60-year old West Tavaputs gas field. But at least some of that was settled this past couple of weeks when in three separate negotiating sessions, the three groups (Carbon County, Barrett and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance), along with the state and with the cooperation of the Bureau of Land management, came to a tentative agreement on the issues involved.

The details, while not public as of yet, consisted of asking the BLM and county to allow gates across some designated roads in the area. The county, for its part, has always been against closing any kind of public access, regardless of the reason. They mostly feel that if gates are allowed on any public access, it will set a precedent that could lead to many more closures in the future.

Jobs and payrolls are also going to be important in the ability to drill wells. Overall the project could be worth about $300 million over the next 10 years. Sun Advocate