Thompson Divide

Thompson Divide lease cancellation confirmed with legal case dismissal

Environmental groups are claiming victory after a legal challenge to the Bureau of Land Management's cancellation of 18 undeveloped oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area west of Carbondale was formally dismissed by a federal court in Denver last week. U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn on Sept. 4 ordered the dismissal of the case, following an agreement earlier this summer between U.S. Interior Department officials and Houston-based SG Interests reimbursing the energy company $1.5 million for the canceled leases. Read Full Article >>

Thompson Divide lease cancellation confirmed with legal case dismissal 2018-09-11T16:14:45+00:00

Judge Dismisses Thompson Divide Lawsuit; Lease Cancellations Stand

After an environmental review in 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cancelled 18 oil and gas leases owned by the company SG Interests. The company then filed a lawsuit, which was dismissed by a federal judge in Denver last week. It comes after a settlement in June in which the BLM agreed to pay SG $1.5 million. Peter Hart is staff attorney for Carbondale-based environmental group Wilderness Workshop; he said while there are still some development threats in Thompson Divide, this is major victory for the groups who worked to protect the area. Read Full Article >>

Judge Dismisses Thompson Divide Lawsuit; Lease Cancellations Stand 2018-09-11T16:12:48+00:00

Drilling resumes after Thompson Divide spill

Following a mid-June spill of more than 2,300 gallons of chemicals, wastewater and drill “cuttings,” for which the Texas gas drilling company SG Interests was ordered on June 20 to shut down the well in question, drilling has resumed. The well is located in the southernmost portion of the controversial Thompson Divide region, and following a brief interruption to clean up the spill, the company is back in business at the same well, according to an official with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which leased the site of the well to the company a decade ago. But at least one [...]

Drilling resumes after Thompson Divide spill 2018-04-18T18:23:19+00:00

Trump election spurs Thompsom Divide lawsuit

Questions about whether the Trump administration will defend a recent decision canceling oil and gas leases in Thompson Divide led Pitkin County and a local nonprofit to sue the federal government Wednesday, officials said. The lawsuit, filed by the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners and the Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop, essentially is an insurance policy in case a judge decides to overturn the Bureau of Land Management's November decision canceling 25 oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide, said John Ely, Pitkin County attorney. A judge might make that decision because SG Interests, a Houston-based oil company that owns 18 of [...]

Trump election spurs Thompsom Divide lawsuit 2018-04-17T19:53:08+00:00

Bennet seeks Thompson Divide peace

A newly proposed measure by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet would increase the amount of compensation that two companies receive for recently canceled leases in the Thompson Divide area southwest of Glenwood Springs. The measure is aimed at permanently protecting the area and avoiding a legal battle over it. But an official with one of the companies, SG Interests, says he doubts it will get through Congress, and he also revealed that SG already has sued over the canceled leases. Bennet, D-Colo., announced the introduction of the latest version of his Thompson Divide legislation Wednesday. His office said in a news release [...]

Bennet seeks Thompson Divide peace 2018-04-18T16:08:57+00:00

Gas storage field is safe, firm says

The utility company pursuing a compressor-station upgrade near Carbondale says the underground gas storage field it would serve is in good condition. Black Hills Energy officials responded Wednesday to concerns from the Carbondale-based conservation group Wilderness Workshop that the addition of a new compressor at the compressor station could lead to leaks and other problems at the Wolf Creek storage field in the Thompson Divide area southwest of Glenwood Springs. Wilderness Workshop notes that some of the wells date back to the 1960s. The group cites problems at the storage field including a 2009 fire at one well, what are considered [...]

Gas storage field is safe, firm says 2018-04-18T16:11:02+00:00

Group to appeal 
BLM approval of compressor expansion plan

A Carbondale-based conservation group says it will appeal a federal decision allowing expansion of a compressor station west of that town due to concerns including potential leaks and other problems at the underground gas-storage field the station serves. The Wilderness Workshop said Monday it has filed notice of its intent to challenge the Bureau of Land Management's decision authorizing the addition of a new compressor to the Crystal River Compressor Station. "Our goal is not to stop this proposed compressor from being built, because we understand the importance of reliable natural gas delivery to local consumers. But, in this case, BLM [...]

Group to appeal 
BLM approval of compressor expansion plan 2018-04-18T16:41:47+00:00

Wilderness Workshop appeals Carbondale-area gas compressor decision

A Carbondale-based environmental group is appealing a recent Bureau of Land Management decision authorizing a new natural gas compressor west of town. Wilderness Workshop said the storage field that serves the compressor station has the potential for large methane leaks such as one in Southern California in late 2015 and early 2016 that resulted in mass home evacuations. The organization filed notice that it plans to appeal the BLM's decision last month that would allow Black Hills Energy to add a new compressor at the Crystal River Compressor Station, located a few miles west of Carbondale off of Garfield County Road [...]

Wilderness Workshop appeals Carbondale-area gas compressor decision 2018-04-18T17:34:35+00:00

Divide lease decision likely to land in court

A recent U.S. Bureau of Land Management decision regarding 65 previously issued oil and gas leases on the White River National Forest, including the cancellation of 25 leases in the Thompson Divide area, is almost certain to end up in federal court. What form that will take over what claims, and which entities decide to seek legal remedies, is a matter for lawyers working on both sides of the ongoing dispute to determine. The formal Record of Decision issued Nov. 17 in Denver and signed by state BLM Director Ruth Welch and Interior Department Deputy Secretary Michael Connor stipulates that any [...]

Divide lease decision likely to land in court 2018-04-18T17:37:56+00:00

BLM pursues canceling 25 Thompson Divide leases

Advocates for protecting Thompson Divide from oil and gas development moved a major step closer to their goal — and the energy industry perhaps a step closer to the courthouse — following a Bureau of Land Management action announced Friday. The agency released a final environmental impact statement on a review of 65 White River National Forest oil and gas leases, and identified a preferred alternative to cancel the 25 of those leases that are in the Thompson Divide area southwest of Glenwood Springs. The BLM previously had said it was planning to include cancellation of the leases in its preferred [...]

BLM pursues canceling 25 Thompson Divide leases 2018-04-18T17:44:34+00:00