The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the US Department of the Interior, has issued ‘Record of Decision’ for the Moneta Divide oil and gas project in Wyoming.

The project is proposed by Aethon Energy Management and Burlington Resources Oil and Gas Company.

The latest move will allow the partners to drill up to 4,250 oil and gas wells across a 327,645-acre area.

Around 67% of the project area is located on the BLM managed public lands, while 10% is on state of Wyoming and state park land. The remaining 23% is under private ownership.

Moneta Divide Project expected to produce 18.16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

The two firms are planning to recover around 18.16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 254 million barrels of oil over the project’s operational life of 65 years.

In addition to generating $182m annually in federal royalties, the project is expected to deliver $87.5m per year in severance taxes for Wyoming and $106m in County Ad Valorem taxes.

The BLM’s Record of Decision, however, does not authorise the developers to undertake ground activity at this time.

As part of its Application for Permit to Drill process, BLM will review and approve each well individually.

In February, BLM issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project, outlining multiple alternatives for the development.

In a press statement, BLM said: “The Final EIS identifies a range of alternatives and includes the agency’s preferred alternative, which was developed following extensive review and consideration of public comments received on the Draft EIS.

“The Preferred Alternative also includes an amendment to the Casper Resource Management Plan.”