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Environmental Groups Want New Owners of Gas Drilling Operation in Eastern Utah to Keep Agreements

West Tavaputs Plateau

Before the Bill Barrett Corporation decided to sell its natural gas operations in the West Tavaputs Plateau of eastern Utah, it had worked out agreements with environmentalists for special protection in some areas. Those groups say the new owner, the EnerVest Corporation of Houston, needs to keep those promises.

One of the agreements worked out by the Bill Barrett Corporation with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance protects part of Desolation Canyon. SUWA attorney Steve Bloch says it keeps wells from being visible to rafters on the Green River and reduces the disturbance on the ground.

“We reduced the number of surface locations from 200 to less than ten, and the number we agreed the company could move forward with were very close to their existing development,” he says.

Bill Barrett also worked with the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition to protect Native American rock art. Coalition president Pam Miller says they do expect all of the stipulations of their agreement to be carried out once the EnerVest company takes control of the gas wells and pipelines in the canyon. A spokesperson for EnerVest says the company is reviewing details of the purchase and it’s not ready to comment on those agreements yet.

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