Eighteen gas leases in the heart of Thompson Divide southwest of Carbondale are formally out of play and won’t be developed, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday.
The BLM and a company called SG Interests reached a settlement agreement over the BLM’s decision to cancel the leases in November 2016. The federal government agreed to pay $1.5 million to SG Interests as part of the settlement; SGI dropped its legal challenge of the lease cancellations.
“SG had 18 leases in the heart of the Thompson Divide. The development of those leases wasn’t a closed book. Now it is,” said Peter Hart, an attorney for Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop, an environmental group that’s part of a coalition battling to prevent oil and gas development in Thompson Divide.