SG Interests applies to drill in Thompson Divide

— SG Interests of Houston has filed its first, formal application for a permit to drill a single gas well in the Thompson Divide area.

The lease and proposed well site is located above Four Mile Park on Beaver Creek, due south of Williams Peak and about a mile and a half southwest of Sunlight Mountain Resort.

The site is just north of the Garfield-Pitkin county line.

In mid-July, SG Interests told the BLM it had started taking surveys to find locations for seven to nine well pads on as many as 18 leases in the Thompson Divide area, which stretches from Sunlight south to Coal Basin west of Redstone.

The new permit is for one well, on one well pad, according to Dave Boyd, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The permit to drill, for a lease covering more than 2,000 acres, was filed on Oct. 17, Boyd said, and currently is being reviewed for completeness by BLM and White River National Forest officials.

Once it is deemed to be a complete application, Boyd said, the two federal agencies will begin an environmental assessment, a process that he said could take a year or more.

Boyd said SG Interest’s lease is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2013. The company can request a lease suspension to “stop the clock” for the duration of the environmental assessment process, Boyd said.

With a suspension, the lease would remain valid even if the EA process stretches past the expiration date.

Both the BLM and forest service have jurisdiction over the area in oil and gas matters, though the proposed well site is located within the forest boundary.

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