Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interior approves Anadarko’s plan for Utah gas wells

The Interior Department on Tuesday approved Anadarko Petroleum’s plan to drill 3,675 new natural gas wells in Utah’s Uintah basin after a 4 1/2-year approval process that involved Native American tribes, state agencies and environmental groups.

Anadarko said it plans to spend $10 billion drilling the wells over the next decade, doubling its natural gas production in the area to 1 billion cubic feet a day and creating as many as 2,900 jobs, directly and indirectly, during construction.

The approval covered an unusual number of wells and marshaled support from an unusual range of interest groups. In addition, the Obama administration, battered by oil industry criticism of its pace for issuing leases on federal lands, highlighted the approval and the jobs it will create.  Washington Post