Energy leases on top of Roan Plateau change hands | VailDaily.com

Energy leases on top of Roan Plateau change hands

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Bill Barrett Corp. has paid $60 million for a 90 percent interest in oil and gas leases on and around the Roan Plateau, a western Colorado landmark that’s the scene of battles over energy development.

The leases on 40,300 acres of federal land include all 34,000 acres leased on top of the plateau by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Denver-based Vantage Energy paid $57.6 million for the leases during an auction last August.

Federal officials are talking to environmental groups about a possible settlement of a lawsuit over plans to open more of the public land to drilling. Both sides agreed that no drilling would start until July.

The Roan Plateau is prized for its oil and gas as well as wildlife and pristine backcountry.