A proposed 25-mile network of gathering lines to carry the captured natural gas from existing or new oil wells is up for public review in what promises to be another controversy between environmentalists and industry.
Tension has continued to dominate the interplay among Grand County officials, Fidelity Exploration and Production Co., and environmental groups over the uptick in industry activity on lands adjacent to prime red rock recreation spots outside Moab.
Fidelity wants to put in 25.3 miles of connector lines to its main Dead Horse Lateral Pipeline that is being installed to capture natural gas that was being flared off. Authorities estimate that 456 million cubic feet of natural gas was lost in 2013 from flaring in the Big Flat oil field, or enough gas to supply 236,000 homes.
A draft environmental analysis has been prepared and released by the Bureau of Land Management on the network of proposed collector lines, of which 22.5 miles will be buried and the remainder above ground. (...)