Thompson Divide lease exchange proposed

An exchange of oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide region for leases on public lands elsewhere in western Colorado is being offered as a solution to the long-standing dispute over drilling in the scenic area south of Glenwood Springs. Garfield County commissioners are scheduled to consider a letter of support for the deal on Monday.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports the deal is being offered by two energy companies, SG Interests and Ursa Operating Co., which together hold about two dozen undeveloped federal oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide.

Conservation groups including the Thompson Divide Coalition and others trying to protect the Thompson Divide from drilling have tried to buy leases there from SG and others, or persuade companies to give them up.