University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

Spotlight: Bill Barrett Corporation in the Uintah Basin

BLM approval of the Bill Barrett Corporation’s (BBC) multi-year development in the Uintah Basin reflects a deal made with environmental groups to limit well pads off the high rim of the Green River’s Desolation Canyon. The BLM website presenting the final EIS and ROD for the project contains more information on this historic, collaborative agreement. See also Engaging Stakeholders, Duane Zavadil, Bill Barrett Corporation, from the 2010 Vernal Workshop.
BBC employs the following consolidated facilities BMPs in the Uintah Basin:

  • Multi-well pad drilling and centralized tank batteries: Under the ROD approving the plan, the BBC will drill multiple wells from a single pad wherever technically feasible and use “centralized tank batteries and multi‐phase gathering where feasible to reduce trucking.” Prior to this EIS, BBC drilled one to seven wells per pad in the region. More information on the centralized tank battery can be found in Attachment 2 of the ROD, available at BMP ID 7891.

Benefits of multi-well pad drilling include:

  • Between 2007 and 2009, the change from single well to multi-well pad installations contributed to decreasing BBC’s average cost per well/pad from $128k (2007) to $25k (2009) and decreasing the average days per well/pad for facilities from 18 days (2007) to 3.3 days (2009).