The West’s public lands are open for business
by Michelle Blank
The 2003 EPCA report considered five Western regions.
The 2006 report looked at 11, including Alaska’s Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge and southern Florida. The difference in
scope skews comparison of the reports, especially considering that
ANWR’s 19 million acres are (still) off-limits to drilling.
But a look at the five Western regions included in both reports
demonstrates that little has changed in regard to land available
2003 vs 2006
40/39 Percent of land that is off-limits to oil
and gas development
21/25 Percent of
land open to leasing with some restrictions
39/36 Percent of land that is accessible under
standard lease terms
Regardless of some restrictions,
drilling is on the rise.
and gas wells drilled in 2006, a 21-year high.
29,356 Natural gas wells completed in 2006, an
permits issued in Utah in 2006 (a record high) and 2005
5,904/4,373 Drilling permits issued in Colorado
in 2006 (a record high) and 2005
9,097/10,021 Drilling permits issued in Wyoming
in 2006 and 2005
15,926 Total number
of wells drilled in Utah to date
8,197 Total wells in Utah capable of production
Sources: American Petroleum Institute, Energy Information Administration, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.© High Country News