BP America Ticonderoga Directional Drilling Project
The National Park Service (NPS) is reviewing a proposal by BP America Production Company (BP) to horizontally drill 9 wells from 6 surface locations outside of the Big Thicket National Preserve (Preserve) to reach bottomhole targets approximately 12,000 feet beneath the Preserve and produce privately-held minerals. The proposed well pads would be located 40 to 600 feet north and west of the Jack Gore Baygall and Neches Bottom Units in Hardin County, Texas. All infrastructure and access for the wells would be located entirely on private property with no use of Preserve surface.
The purpose of the analysis is twofold: 1) carry out compliance responsibilities under various statutes including the National Environmental Policy Act, and 2) determine whether the directional wells qualify for an exemption under NPS regulation 36 CFR 9.32e. An exemption may be issued if the NPS determines that the "operations pose no significant threat of damage to park resources..." The scope of the exemption determination is limited to those activities occurring within the Preserve boundary.
The NPS is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to provide the decision-making framework that 1) explores a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives, 2) evaluates potential impacts to park resources and values, and 3) identifies mitigation measures to minimize those impacts.
The NPS encourages public participation throughout the NEPA process during which the public has two opportunities to comment on this project; once during initial project scoping and again following release of the EA. We are currently in the scoping phase of this project, and I invite you to participate. Your comments will be considered during preparation of the EA.
Dear Friend of Big Thicket National Preserve,