Feds sign off on 3,600 new gas wells in Utah; energy industry insider blasts 'broken system'

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  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    May 11, 2012 4:45 a.m.

    The state of the current economy overrides all other concerns. Let's make money now for today's corporations and hope that a little bit of it trickles down to us. Future generations will have to squeeze the earth even tighter, and accept even more pollution and exposure to toxins...but that's their problem.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    May 11, 2012 12:33 a.m.

    L, whatever drilling happens better happen quickly before the November election. If Obama wins again the drilling will be posponed for whatever excuse they can come up with. Delays will continue and law suits will follow. Growth and jobs will be lost. You make a deal with the devil, you loose. I hope I am wrong but.... Having been there and done that.......

  • L Central, Utah
    May 9, 2012 11:07 p.m.

    Mr. Ryan would rather see things in court for years and then some court somewhere make a decision that may or may not be a winner for either side.

    Anadarko is smart enough to make money decisions and that it comes down to. They understand the risks and the costs, but somehow they can still make a profit, even with the way they will conduct the drilling. Watch over the years and see if this isn't true.

    In the meantime the resouce is extracted, jobs are provided and the land area is managed. Sounds like a good deal to me.

    Of concern has to to be yhe supply of natural gas and the market demand for it. While it is a finiate resource, too much on the market to sell at any one time may depress prices. I guess that is good for the consumers but hard on the companies.

    I understand the drilling will be mainly for natural gas, but even if for oil most of the comments, except for an oversupply, apply as well.

    Maybe this will be the positive start of agreements rather than prolonged court battles where attornies will prosper and drilling delayed more !

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 9, 2012 6:38 p.m.

    The Rock.... I am sorry, but if what you say, that Obama is an obstructionist, then I guess this would be proven out by there being a huge delta between the number of wells going in during a non-obstructionist administration, and this one. So please, ask your friend, what administration is it that allowed more drilling than the current one.

    I will patiently await the reply. Some data to back the claims would be very much appreciated.

    Would this also be backed up by the release of Federal land this year up in Montana for Coal production.... more than any of the previous administration have release?

    Facts, not rhetoric.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    May 9, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    Canyontreker, is right on. This will all be shut down as soon as the election is over. NEVER trust SWUA,they all lie. Deals are made in good faith, handshakes and respect are offered. Then as soon as they leave the barganing table, they break the deal and subvert those they argeed with just minutes before. This will not last, and every bit of money invested will be lost by the companies, communities and the government.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 9, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" you are correct, but you fail to take into account people with an adgenda. I am not seeing the negative, I am seeing politics for what they are, power hungry people with adgendas that they are trying to complete.

    Just like the developer needs to get a permit for each house, the city for the new development can make things as difficult as they want. If there is somebody in the permits department who doesn't want the zoning comission approved development, the permits person can make things so difficult for the developer that the new project could be scrapped.

    You have too much faith in government. Per Mosiah 23:13-14 "13....ye trust no man to be a king over you.

    14 And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments."

    How many people in Government are "Men of God"?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 9, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    Canyontreker - your comments make no sense because they are completely with out contect. For example, under Obama, hydrolic fracturing has become a common practice now in some parts of the country such as PA. Sure, it you look at this one incident, one could make the argument you are making. But when you look at the whole picture, the number of wells being put in has risen dramatically since the previous administrations levels. The amount of both oil and gas being extracted has dramatically risen as well.

    So, taken purely in isolation - sure. But that is not the complete picture. Gas production has been rising dramatically, even before this area was opened up.

    But then again, you can choose to see only what you want to, that is really up to you.

    Redshirt - you're being silly. Just like a developer who is given permission to open up a new housing development (the hard part), each house built in it needs a permit. Getting the zoning and overall permission is the big hurdle - not the individual permits. Not one is going to be stupid enough to give a developer carte blanche - not even a conservative.

    Always seeing the negative.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    May 9, 2012 2:03 p.m.


    "Look at a Rig map of the Gulf of Mexico. There are over 3000 of them."

    Yup, but almost none drilled since 2008. Obama shut down drilling after the BP oil spill. The courts ordered that the moratorium on drilling was illegal. Obama lifted the moratorium and then slowed the permitting process way down. Same difference: No new wells.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    May 9, 2012 1:54 p.m.

    Why hasn't Hatch claimed the credit for this win/win? And could you tell the whole story and explain what the oil companies gave up? Rather weak article when you quote Mr. Ryan as being dissatisfied but give no reasons for his dissatisfaction. You also throw in the comment that oil can't be drilled on these sites tomorrow, so is it just a smokescreen? This is why the newspaper business is dying....Give us some news please.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 9, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    Cowboy said but failed to provide any refferences: Vernal was a boom town until the Obama Administration shut down the new wells in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Unemployment took over and many many people lost jobs and homes as the companies went to private lands. Many readers here will have family members that lost jobs and homes.

    Oil production hit an 8-year high in 2011 at 2,070,454 thousand barrels.
    Natural gas production was at an all-time high in 2011 at 28,577,562 MMcf.
    Federal public lands leased in FY11 was 38.4 million acres compared to just 12.3 million acres leased and in production.
    The BLM approved 4,244 drilling permits on federal lands in FY11 was 4,244, outpacing the number of new wells spudded on public lands which was 3,260.
    As of January 25, 2012, the oil and gas industry had 6,500 unused drilling permits for western federal lands.
    Drilling activity reached its highest level under the Obama administration than at any point since the Reagan administration.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 9, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    I don't think that the liberals read past the first page here. According to the article "Anadarko must still secure permits to drill from the Bureau of Land Management for each of the proposed wells before drilling can begin." we then find out that "You could not start to build a (well) location based on today's decision."

    So, doesn't that mean that Obama can still stop the drilling while looking like he is pro-energy?

    Also, as the article pointed out, energy production is up since Obama took office. But, since it takes several years to get a new well up and running, doesn't that mean that the Bush policies, not Obama's, have allowed domestic production to increase?

  • George Bronx, NY
    May 9, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    @go utes

    "The amount of land that the federal government owns in Utah is criminal, the fact that they did not pay for it and do not allow us to use the resources on those lands is absolutely unconscionable"

    you do realize it was all federal land before Utah became a state, at the time that area originally became a part of the US no one wanted that land.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    May 9, 2012 11:23 a.m.


    The Utah Legislature and our Governor are also "two of the worst outfits" and every bit as extreme as SUWA and the Sierra Club.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    May 9, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    If the state yahoos actually cared about developing natural resources for the benefit of the public they would increase the state severance tax to the level found in Wyoming. They don't and won't.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    May 9, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Yes I will complain about this agreement. It is the added cost of meeting radical demands driving prices up... It didn't have to happen that way and consumers would be better off.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 9, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    "Regulations would not allow them to drill in areas that made more sense"

    You make it sound like the shallow water in the GOM is not being drilled.

    Look at a Rig map of the Gulf of Mexico. There are over 3000 of them.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    May 9, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    I can't but help find the politics in this decision. Three years of shutting Utah and Wyoming down, jobs move to South Dakota. American public wants an explanation why public lands have been shut down during gas inflation. Then six months before the election, energy policy is to restore the Bush plan.

    If Obama is re-elected watch these wells get shut down again. You better rent not buy in Vernal.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    May 9, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass "Repubs are completely out of touch. Obama INCREASES oil drilling, more than Bush did, and they claim he's an environmentalist."

    You can't spin this one when it is so close to home. Vernal was a boom town until the Obama Administration shut down the new wells in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Unemployment took over and many many people lost jobs and homes as the companies went to private lands. Many readers here will have family members that lost jobs and homes.

    This announcement will help restore what was lost but companies will be more timid to work in Utah. It is slow growth, but finally after three years of losing, any growth is good.

    Take a look at Orin Hatch's response to the new wells. He has the stats that show what destruction has been done to Utah's jobs due to Obama's obstruction.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    May 9, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass

    A friend of mine is in the oil business. He buys old wells and brings them back on line. Very small time operator. He also drills new wells in places that make sense.

    The government has made it very difficult or not impossible to drill on public land. The government's attorneys are also doing everything they can do to prevent drilling on private property. The oil boom in North Dakota is taking place for only one reason: The land is privately owned and they have to fight the government at every turn. This is not environmentally driven. It's legal costs not environmental litigation that is causing the problems.

    Obama is not an environmentalist. He is an obstructionist.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 9, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    "It has and will effect us all in the end. The Feds are laying the groundwork for the UN to take over control of OUR public lands"

    You knew it was coming.... protect American resources is all a ploy for the UN to take over America... You knew eventually this would come back around to an anti UN dicsussion. Good grief.

    Why is it so hard for people to understand that life if full of balances and compromises. If we lived in tiny little bubbles and what we did didn't impact others, sure, we could do what ever we want, like spoiled little kids. But in the real world, we aren't all Momma's little darlings, what we do does have consequences, and we need to respect others rights just as much as we demand our own. Our need for cheap energy should not trump our kids rights to enjoy the same benefits we have enjoyed ourselves. We should not mortage their futures.

    Technology exist to extract those resources without doing long term damage. Timber industry has figured it out... these guys can too.

  • kiaoraguy Provo, UT
    May 9, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    Someone wants to get reelected pretty bad

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    May 9, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Cudos to anadarko for pulling this one off.

    They are the ones who had to find the resource, and figure a way to get the government and the natives to agree. They did all the hard work. Good job Anadarko.

    Wouldn't it be nice for someone to come up with a local use for all the natural gas?

    Duchesne and Uintah counties need to get a larger share of the royalties from these and other wells. Not many teachers in the state get a lower salary than those in those counties and the cost of living is high due to increased demand for housing and limited resources.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    May 9, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Playing both sides of the fence!

    Obama allows off shore drilling and attaches regulations so onerous that you can't make a profit drilling off shore. Pure hypocrisy!

    Why did BP drill into 5,000 feet of water into an oil pocket pressurized to 164,000 psi? Regulations would not allow them to drill in areas that made more sense. Why were those regulations in place? Because they wanted to allow drilling only in places where you couldn't drill.

    Taking credit for allowing drilling that will never happen.

    This agreement in Utah prevents more drilling than it allows. Two Faced Policies once again.

    America is nearing national bankruptcy. All wealth is created in manufacturing, mining and agriculture and our government regulates manufacturing, mining and agriculture almost to the point of destruction. Indeed most manufacturing has fled our shores. Mining (including drilling) is almost extinct and even farmers are feeling the pinch.

    Then the government has the audacity to complain about low tax receipts.

    Let business make a profit and they will hire people. If people have jobs they will not need a government hand out.

    This is not rocket science.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 9, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    Repubs are completely out of touch. Obama INCREASES oil drilling, more than Bush did, and they claim he's an environmentalist.

  • krit5 Ogden, UT
    May 9, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    Maybe I'm not reading this right but, I see this as another Fed-fueled twist on Wilderness policy. Make it wilderness, shut out the public, then let special interest groups dance around the law to get their way.

    I'm all for finding different energy sources, but as a population, we need to learn to be more efficient with all energy consumption, be it personal or business. That said, this ties in with shutting down roads in wilderness areas and not allowing access on existing roads/trails for the citizens of Utah and the rest of the country. But they can cut new roads to access gas/oil wells. This also is in direct line with the UNs Agenda 21/ sustainability program. Look it up if you don't already know about it. It has and will effect us all in the end. The Feds are laying the groundwork for the UN to take over control of OUR public lands. Shut the locals out, but let their cronies buy favors for the corporate... just my $.02

  • johnbh99 Daytona Beach Shores, FL
    May 9, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    Is there any land anywhere on the earth that is not "sensitive"?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 9, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    Just goes to show,

    No matter what the Obama Admisnistrations - even when it's what they wanted -
    Even they discover the cure for cancer....

    Republicans STILL want to complain about it.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    May 9, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    The energy company go great leases, more gas for us, sensitive land are protected and jobs are created. I guess there will always be a whiner who can't be pleased.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    May 9, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    OK whats going on? When the Sierra club and SU wilderness alliance is ok with this, there is dirt in the details. Who is getting paid off? Serious, this has got dirt all over it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 9, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    So, an industry insider complaining because the government took a balanced approach rather than lettin oil companies rape the land. Imagine that.

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    May 9, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    I do not understand why the state of Utah allows itself to be robbed of resources repeatedly year after year. The amount of land that the federal government owns in Utah is criminal, the fact that they did not pay for it and do not allow us to use the resources on those lands is absolutely unconscionable. The fed needs to back off and let the states practice the sovereignty that the Constitution guarantees them.

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    May 9, 2012 6:16 a.m.

    To complain about having to compromise to get 3600 new wells sounds like a spoiled brat reaction, but I would expect nothing less from an energy industry insider.

  • Corn Dog New York, NY
    May 9, 2012 1:24 a.m.

    Ryan is right.

    When someone places play-time activities, leisure, and hobbies like outdoor recreation ahead of meeting the fundamental energy and raw material needs of society provided by natural gas, something is terribly wrong with that person's sense of priorities.

    The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2012 12:21 a.m.

    Any energy policy that has the effect of causing yokels to sputter about "extreme environmental movement" while actually increasing oil production, well, I'll take that to be a step in the right direction.

    Learn to take "yes" for an answer, Mr. Ryan.