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Oil & gas companies propose swap to avoid Thompson Divide development

Apr 6, 2015

Looking down on the Thompson Divide
Credit Marci Krivonen

Two oil and gas companies want to swap Thompson Divide leases, for mineral rights farther north and south of the Roaring Fork Valley. SG Interests and Ursa Resources are two of the largest oil and gas leaseholders in the Thompson Divide.

SG Interests would like to exchange 18 leases, and others nearby, for a comparable amount of land and leases farther south, in another National Forest.  The new leases would be near other SG Interests oil and gas development, and some would be in roadless areas.

Ursa Resources, on the other hand, is asking to swap seven BLM leases with similar parcels to the north. That would be on BLM land in Rio Blanco County, near other drilling projects.

Such changes would require an act of Congress. So Garfield County Commissioners are asking Colorado’s Congressional delegation to take the lead.

The Carbondale-based Thompson Divide Coalition has been working on buying out the leases to prevent oil and gas development on the Divide. Organizers said Monday they’re not sure yet whether to support the swap.