April 2007

Environmental Assessment Terminated

PAGE, Ariz. – The National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management have
terminated the development of an environmental assessment for a proposal to drill an exploratory oil and gas well in the Circle Cliffs area of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Viking Oil Exploration Inc. acquired mineral rights to explore for petroleum deposits on federal lands in southern Utah in 1969.  At that time, the land covered under the lease was administered by the BLM.  Some of this land is now part of either Glen Canyon National Recreation Area or Capitol Reef National Park, both created after the lease was issued.

In 1990, Viking submitted to the BLM an application to drill an exploratory
well within Glen Canyon.  Viking had proposed to access the two-acre well site using nine miles of rebuilt or new road in Glen Canyon and over existing roads in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Through the environmental assessment process, the National Park Service and
BLM were to jointly prepare an environmental assessment to assess the potential effects of the single exploratory well.  Specific information about the project was to be provided by Viking Exploration Inc. 

However, the National Park Service and BLM were unable to complete the environmental assessment because critical information about the project was not provided. As a result, the agencies have terminated the development of the
environmental assessment. 

The lease expired on Feb. 28.

Additional information is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?parkId=62&projectId=12592