Bureau of Land Management agrees to pay energy company $1.5 million for canceled leases

Bureau of Land Management agrees to pay energy company $1.5 million for canceled leases

GRAND JUNCTION — The Bureau of Land Administration has agreed to pay SG Pursuits $1.5 million after the ability agency sued over the cancellation of 18 oil and gasoline leases defending higher than 30 sq. miles (78 sq. kilometers) inside the Thompson Divide area in western Colorado.

The undeveloped leases inside the enormous White River Nationwide Forest had been amongst 25 defending higher than 50 sq. miles (129 sq. kilometers) that the BLM canceled in late 2016 on the request of a coalition of governments, environmentalists, ranchers and others, The Grand Junction Day by day Sentinel reported Friday. Firm officers said they’d been reversing what they often known as faulty environmental opinions that had been issued between 1995 and 2012.

On the time, the corporate said it is going to pay SG Pursuits and Ursa Property, which held the other seven leases, about $1 million for what was paid for purchasing the leases at public sale and for rental expenses on the leases.

In SG Pursuits’ case, that amounted to about $468,000. The company argued it had invested far more in working in the direction of eventual enchancment of the leases, claiming the cancellations had been a breach of contract.

“We’re blissful that the Trump administration acknowledged the wrongful cancellation of the leases and compensated us for it,” said Robbie Guinn, a SG Pursuits vp. “I imagine that this is not going to be the observe of the Trump administration. I don’t think about they’re going to be canceling any leases.”

He said the $1.5 million lined almost the entire additional permitting, surveying and completely different costs the company had incurred attempting to develop the leases.

Mike Freeman, an lawyer with the conservation group Earthjustice, moreover said he was pleased with the settlement.

“We’re blissful that the important wildlife habitat, pristine roadless lands and public water supplies inside the Thompson Divide could be protected for future generations,” he said.

SG Pursuits nonetheless owns the lease rights to develop deep formations beneath about 14 sq. miles (36 sq. kilometers) of the Thompson Divide which could be typically known as the Wolf Creek area and weren’t part of the BLM lease analysis.

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