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High Plains Gas presents plans to restart CBM wells in Powder River Basin

World Coal,

A number of idle coalbed methane (CBM) wells in the Powder River Basin (PRB) could be restarted as parts of plans drawn up by High Plains Gas.

The Sheridan-based CBM company has presented Wyoming state officials with plans to reactivate the idle CBM wells.

The company owns 3000 or so non-producing CBM wells in the PRB.

The plan, pitched to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, relies on a device called the Gazmo, which promoters say can inexpensively separate CBM from groundwater.

According to local news reports, much rests on how state officials take to High Plains Gas’ plan. If they do not approve the project, there is a chance that state officials will take control of the idle wells and close them.

Oil and Gas Supervisor, Mark Watson, said that the state would only endorse High Plains Gas’ plan if it were viable.

"It has to be a legitimate plan we think is going to work," Watson said. "It has to be economically viable."

Questions have been raised over High Plains Gas’ finances, after the company CEO, Ed Pressley, reported that the company owes US$ 50 million in outstanding government payments, mineral royalties and other debt.

However, the company remain confident that their plan – and the use of the Gazmo in restarting the idle CBM wells – should be approved by Wyoming state officials. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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