Saturday, January 19, 2019

Petroleum Association of Wyoming

Sage-grouse Management Team

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming (PAW) and its member companies have established the PAW Sage-grouse Management Team dedicated to proactively addressing issues affecting sage-grouse in Wyoming. The team—comprised of members ranging from wildlife biologists to reclamation specialists—will strive to be the resource for industry education and participation related to sage-grouse. The team will coordinate and help implement local, state and federal projects benefiting sage-grouse and share the latest research findings and recommended management practices for sustaining balanced and thriving sage-grouse populations.

Sage-grouse Management Team Members
Paul Ulrich. . . . . . . . . Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.
Dave Brown  
Dru Bower-Moore. . . . .

Sr. Regulatory Advisor
Devon Energy

Renee Taylor. . . . . . . . Taylor Environmental Consulting LLC
Colleen Faber . . . . . . . EHS Supervisor
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
Chad Olson. . . . . . . . . Wildlife Biologist/Project Manager
Hayden-Wing Associates, LLC
Penny Bellah. . . . . . . . Regulatory Team Leader
WPX Energy
Esther Wagner. . . . . . . Public Lands Specialist
Petroleum Association of Wyoming

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices or Recommended management practices (BMPs) are mitigation measures and actions applied to oil and gas drilling and production operations intended to augment normal permitting requirements and to foster increased environmental stewardship.  These BMPs are for consideration by operators during project planning. 

While BMPs may not be state of the art practices, their inclusion in this list is based upon prior success by the oil and gas industry in demonstrating a balance of implementation costs and environmental effectiveness.  BMPs are not required and are not necessarily appropriate for every situation.  Consideration must be given to both the unique aspects of each oil and gas development project and the site specific environmental conditions present.  Topics include regulatory, administrate, planning, wildlife habitat identification, reclamation, drilling, operations, facility planning and monitoring.

Administrative/Regulatory (BLM)

  • Analyze direct and cumulative impacts of a project
  • Use multi-APD project plans (PODs)
  • Acknowledge potential conflicts
  • Minimize cumulative disturbance per section to manage C/R
  • Establish a resource database
  • Work with industry to determine well spacing and development density
  • Allow reclamation seeding during timing stipulations

Administrative (Companies)

  • Utilize appropriate Best Management Practices in sensitive areas (i.e. wildlife habitat)
  • Establish early rapport with landowners, State and Federal agencies and private mineral owners
  • Establish a clearinghouse for success stories and failures
  • Company establish and enforce code of conduct for employees and contractors where it does not currently exist

Planning for development, including drilling, roads, pipelines, power, etc. / Footprint

  • Ensure collaboration among operators with adjacent projects
  • Establish field-wide plans and account for site specific differences within the fields
  • Implement early notification practices and consultation with surface owners
  • Work with surface owners regarding project planning
  • Avoid development, where possible, in crucial wildlife habitat
  • Consolidate roads, buildings, utilities, etc.
  • Where feasible, use existing disturbed areas for facilities
  • Add wildlife habitat component to exploration and development planning phase to establish more efficient practices and conserve habitat
  • Cluster development where possible
  • Provide project maps with clear overlays and update annually
  • Plan pipeline routes with consideration of other ROW and permitted uses (i.e. bury pipelines in existing road right-of-way and use existing corridors where possible)
  • Consolidate utilities where possible
  • Collect baseline soil data prior to disturbance
  • Consider noise management in project plans where needed
  • Utilize liquid gathering systems instead of trucking where feasible
  • Based upon research, avoid sensitive areas or establish appropriate timing of activities by all users
  • Place roads to avoid impact on multi species, such as ridges and drainages

Habitat Mapping

  • Create pre-plan maps to avoid habitat where technically and economically feasible
  • Consider actual habitat areas instead of arbitrary circles or zones
  • Focus on landscape vs. project scale


  • Separate topsoil and apply N2 fertilizer or grasses (clover)
  • Minimize reclamation requirements by using appropriate construction/reclamation equipment
  • Conduct interim construction/reclamation where feasible
  • Develop a grazing management plan (i.e. defer grazing in reclaimed areas until vegetation is established)
  • Consult with conservation districts and NRCS regarding grazing practices and habitat enhancement when necessary
  • Apply extra water during reseeding during drought
  • Research seed availability for suggested sage-grouse mix
  • Use native and non-native species, as determined appropriate, on private and federal lands when seeding for sage-grouse and other wildlife
  • Establish weed and pest control practices
  • Reduce footprint on old sites
  • Establish sage
  • Reclaim old (abandoned) infrastructure


  • Share oak mat study results
  • Use closed loop mud system for drilling where practical taking into account available disposal sites
  • Utilize horizontal/directional drilling where technically and economically feasible


  • Commingle production from federal wells, where practical and feasible
  • Utilize remote monitoring where technically and economically feasible
  • Limit human activity by utilizing telemetry, central metering and traffic control where feasible
  • Retrofit/rework existing infrastructure where technically and economically feasible

Produced Water

  • Evaluate the efficacy of improving wildlife habitat with produced water
  • Utilize evaporation pond designs that include steep sides and wave action for mosquito control
  • Consider larvae eating fish to control mosquito habitat
  • Re-inject produced water where technically and economically feasible
  • Consolidate evaporation ponds and reclaim those that are eliminated
  • Emphasize the use of temporary ponds where practical

Power Lines

  • Utilize anti-perch techniques in raptor habitat
  • Identify where power lines can be buried and consider burying existing lines where technically and economically feasible
  • Utilize onsite power generation where practical


  • Reduce access by the general public – issue ID for company vehicles and contractors
  • Consolidate Greater Sage-grouse study groups
  • Develop cooperative development plans for sensitive areas
  • Differences – fee vs. fed
  • Explore alternative methods, new technologies and alternate sources of energy
  • Where technically and economically feasible, mitigate noise impacts by using muffling/suppression, topography, gas vs. electric pump jacks, size vs. number
  • Use a spider plow for boring to reduce pipeline surface disturbance
  • Avoid Greater Sage-grouse leks between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Consider timing of shift changes, hauling and access to wells to minimize impacts
  • Follow posted speed limits
  • Implement dust control measures (i.e. eliminate washboards)
  • Retrofit and establish measures to avoid predator use or control predators (i.e. trash control, infrastructure height, raptor perch deterrent and power lines)
  • Carpool to reduce vehicle numbers, dust and noise


  • Establish a college internship program
  • Support wildlife research
  • Fund quicker analysis of lek data
  • Complete baseline and follow up studies


  • Define acceptable assurances – agency and fee owners
  • Model CCAA
  • Habitat enhancement that would facilitate project approval and timeframes

Communication / Cooperation

  • Improve communication among industry and other land users
  • Educate the public and State and Federal agency personnel