PXP Wyoming Range gas lease buy-out a possibility
by Pinedale Online
October 5, 2012
The Trust for Public Land has negotiated an agreement with Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP) for the opportunity to purchase PXPís Wyoming Range gas leases and ultimately retire them, if environmental interests can raise the $8.75 million asking price by December 31, 2012.
"PXP has agreed to accept an offer to purchase their leases in the Wyoming Range," wrote Dan Smitherman, representing Citizens to Protect the Wyoming Range, in an email to supporters. "This means they will abandon all plans to drill in the Upper Hoback. The Trust for Public Land has negotiated a deal to purchase not only the leases in Noble Basin, but all of the wholly owned PXP leases in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the ones under the private land in the South Rim area. The leases on the forest will be retired forever thanks to the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, thus protecting this area from future development. We are working with the State and BLM to protect the private lands also."
Smitherman said they have raised more than half of the $8.75 million needed to complete this deal. They have sent out a call to supporters asking for more donations.
Below is a statement from Steve Rusch, PXP Vice President of Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) and Government Affairs:
"PXP is pleased to have worked with the Trust for Public Land on this agreement. From the first day the Legacy Act was passed, PXP has repeatedly stated our willingness to consider a buy out of our lease position if a valid offer was tendered. Todayís announcement fulfills that pledge. This agreement represents a win-win for all parties. The long term outlook for natural gas prices remains mixed. For the past several years, PXP has been shifting away from low-margin natural gas toward higher-priced oil. PXP believes the project would have been accomplished in an environmentally sensitive manner, however, TPLís interest in the leases represented an opportunity that was advantageous for all parties involved. Throughout the history of this project, we have focused our efforts on collaborating with stakeholders willing to seriously engage on the issues. TPL reached out to PXP and subsequent discussions exemplify the types of successes that can be realized when diverse parties seek to find common ground."