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Front Page » May 5, 2005 » Local News » Gas exploration company receives Earth Day award
Published 3,813 days ago

Gas exploration company receives Earth Day award

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A logging truck rumbles down a new road constructed to protect the Great Hunt Panel that is located on the out cropping to the right. The boulders block the old road so traffic doesn't pass right under the panel.

The Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM) recently presented Denver-based Bill Barrett Corporation with one of the Board's five 2005 Earth Day Awards for what the Board terms, "going beyond what is required by regulation to protect the environment while providing society with essential natural resources." The awards were presented during ceremonies in the auditorium of the Department of Natural Resources in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bill Barrett Corporation (BBC) was recognized for its educational outreach regarding seismic exploration efforts and numerous environmental improvements during its West Tavaputs seismic and drilling project in Carbon County.

The company had invested nearly a million dollars to inventory and protect the cultural artifacts found in the company's Stone Cabin seismic project, an effort that provided archeologists and anthropologists more information about the historic artifacts in the area than ever before. BBC hired three consultants to monitor the seismic activities, another to monitor ground motion thresholds, and yet another for archeological work. The archeological work included establishing a 100-foot-wide corridor around seismic buggies to assure protection of artifacts as well as a 300-foot buffer around all known rock art and sensitive structures.

Nearly half of the shot holds conducted during the seismic survey were drilled using helicopters and heliportable equipment to further minimize impacts (the average heliportable shot hole site took up about a dozen square feet).

While use of helicopters helped minimize traffic on local roads, their use both increased the cost of the project as well as the risk to personnel. When using local roads to bring in equipment, the company spent $5,000 per mile to suppress dust.

The company also voluntarily re-aligned a road near Utah's Nine Mile Canyon, allowing people for the first time in decades to contemplate the famed hunter panel without having to worry about traffic, noise or dust.

Additional mitigation, consultation and coordination involved 12 Native American tribes, four state agencies, three federal agencies, 14 organizations and three county governments.

The Board of Oil, Gas and Mining began the Earth Day Awards program in 1991. The essential requirement for receiving an award is that a company must voluntarily perform work that is not required by law. Since that time 51 mining and oil and gas companies, or individuals, have been singled out for their environmental awareness.

"Earth Day Awards were created as a vehicle to recognize those companies and individuals who go the extra mile in protecting the environment," explained Board Chairman Jim Peacock. "Each of these recipients have taken action on their own initiative to improve our environment and we look forward to recognizing them for their contribution to protecting our environment."

Bill Barrett Corporation, headquartered in Denver, explores for and develops oil and natural gas in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The Company has projects in nine basins in the Rocky Mountains.

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