BLM completes EA for proposed North Dakota exploration

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has completed its environmental assessment of Slawson Exploration’s proposed oil and gas exploration project near North Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea, on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

BLM also approved a permit for the Wichita, Kan.-based producer to drill the first eight of 11 wells from a single well pad in a March 10 record of decision reviewed by Kallanish Energy.

The well pad will be 800 feet from Lake Sakakawea, with production facilities less than a mile away. BLM said while the facilities will be on private land, it was required to issue a drilling permit because the federally managed leases will be reached with horizontal drilling.

The Bakken-Three Forks formation area has about 446 federal, tribal, and allotted leases already in existence under Lake Sakakawea, BLM said.

Slawson was awarded its leases in late 2008 and early 2009. It submitted its drilling permit application in 2011, which BLM said triggered engagement with the public and the three affiliated tribes: the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations.