(Cheyenne, WY) – Today, December 23rd the Bureau of Land Management issued a decision that could generate billions of dollars for the American public and will strengthen domestic energy production and independence.
The Record of Decision for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project allows the development of up to 5,000 new oil and natural gas wells within a 1.5 million-acre project area in Converse County, Wyoming, over the life of the project.
“Today’s announcement aligns with the Department’s commitment to responsibly developing our nation’s vast energy resources,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Casey Hammond. “Projects like this strengthen the energy independence of the United States while creating jobs and fostering economic development.”
“Completing this project highlights our efforts here at the BLM to encourage responsible development on our public lands,” said Kim Liebhauser, BLM Wyoming Acting State Director. “I really appreciate all the hard work and attention to detail by everyone involved, which resulted in a balanced approach that facilitates domestic development while mitigating potential environmental impacts.”
“The Converse oil and gas project would provide thousands of jobs in Wyoming and help boost our state’s economy,” said Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY). “It is important that we continue the responsible development of our public lands so projects like this can strengthen our country and benefit the American people.”
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for jobs and oil and gas development in Wyoming,” said Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). “The Converse County Oil and Gas Project is estimated to bring thousands of jobs and substantial revenue to our state. It’s the result of years of hard work and collaboration at the local, state and federal level. I’m pleased we can finally get this important Wyoming energy project up and running.”
“This Record of Decision (ROD) is the culmination of years of work between the Bureau of Land Management, the State of Wyoming and the oil and gas industry. This decision establishes what has been my goal from the beginning– to provide actual year round drilling opportunities,” said Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. “It sets the framework for hundreds of jobs for Wyoming and ensures proper safeguards for the protection of our wildlife in the project area. I look forward to seeing this project and year-round drilling come to fruition in Wyoming.”
“This long-awaited Record of Decision ensures that oil and gas will continue to play an essential role in Wyoming’s economy as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic. We are proud of our state’s fossil fuels and recognize that this project represents a much-needed source of jobs, tax revenue, and economic growth that will serve Wyoming families for generations to come.” -Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)
This decision modifies the 2007 Casper Field Office Resource Management Plan to allow for year-round drilling while continuing to protect non-eagle raptors in the area and conserve their habitat. The project is expected to generate roughly 8,000 jobs and approximately $18 to $28 billion in federal revenues.
While the record of decision approves the preferred alternative analyzed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the decision does not authorize any on-the-ground activity. On-the-ground construction and development will require separate site-specific review and approval before it can begin.
The BLM released a final environmental impact statement on July 31, 2020, initiating a 30-day protest period and 60-day Governor’s Consistency Review. The final environmental impact statement identified a range of alternatives, including the BLM’s preferred alternative, which we developed following extensive review and consideration of public and cooperating agency input.
The decision and other project documents and maps are available online here.