Antero Resources intervenes in Roan Plateau suit |

Antero Resources intervenes in Roan Plateau suit

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” Antero Resources has emerged as the fourth company that won energy leases on the Roan Plateau during a record $114 million federal auction.

Denver-based Antero’s participation in the August auction by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management wasn’t readily known because it used an independent broker to make its bids. Antero’s involvement became known after it filed a motion Friday to intervene in a lawsuit by conservation groups challenging the decision to lease 54,631 acres on the Roan Plateau.

Antero bid a total of $6.6 million for 9,566 acres east of the plateau in western Colorado.

Other winning bidders were Vantage Energy, Williams Production and OXY USA.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s auction of the leases in August generated nearly $114 million, a record for onshore energy lease sales in the lower 48 states. The sale followed years of developing a plan to manage the federal land on the mineral-rich plateau, hearings and protests of drilling on the landmark that is also valued for its wildlife and pristine backcountry.

The BLM issued the leases in September but last week agreed, along with the companies, to delay any drilling until June so the lawsuit can be heard.

The lawsuit claims federal officials didn’t analyze the long-term environmental impacts of the drilling plans or consider a reasonable range of alternatives in developing natural gas on the plateau. The BLM has said years of work and public input have gone into the plan.

The BLM’s plan authorizes 1,570 wells drilled from 193 pads and over 20 years, including 210 wells from 13 pads on top of the plateau. The BLM says its proposal would preserve 51 percent of land on the Roan while allowing recovery of more than 90 percent of natural gas there.

Antero paid $689 per acre, compared to the high for the auction of $11,800 per acre by Williams for 2,140 acres below the plateau’s south rim. Vantage paid $1,430 per acre for 40,311 acres on top, and OXY bid $9,282 per acre for 2,623 acres below the rim.

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