Oklahoma Company Wants to Drill in Red Desert

9-13-05 - An Oklahoma company's plan to drill natural gas wells in Wyoming is drawing criticism from environmentalists.

Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy is proposing to drill up to 1,250 gas wells near Rawlins, Wyoming, that opponents say would be harmful to the habitat for sage grouse. The sage grouse is a bird that's diet includes sagebrush.

The opponents say Devon doesn't appear to have procedures in place to reduce the environmental impact of drilling.

A Devon spokesman says he doesn't have details of the drilling plans. Officials with the Petroleum Association of Wyoming say developers do their best to limit the environmental impact, but have to drill where the gas is.

The Bureau of Land Management is working on an environmental impact statement for the proposal, but says a decision probably wouldn't be made until a resource management plan is completed later this year.