San Juan Basin Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

A confidential oil and gas exploration and production client planned to acquire a large asset in the Rocky Mountain region including oil and gas wells, tank batteries, associated gathering lines, and a 200-acre storage yard throughout an area spanning three counties, the Navajo Nation, and Bureau of Land Management property. As part of the due diligence effort, the client requested Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) support, an environmental compliance inspection, and cost estimates to rectify facility compliance issues and environmental defects identified during the Phase I ESA. Under a limited budget and rapid timeframe, RETTEW mobilized a seasoned and highly efficient team to conduct a modified Phase I ESA of the existing facilities.

The scope included data management and mapping of close to 1,000 oil and gas wells, screening more than 300 wells for potential environmental concerns, a detailed review of environmental records, an assessment of current remediation status, site reconnaissance, and preparing a comprehensive report and remedial cost summary. The work also involved correspondence and regular interaction with multiple state and federal regulatory agencies. The goal was to conduct site visits at all of the facilities with greater than 50 percent interest currently owned by the seller within a one-week timeframe. To accomplish the expedited schedule, we prioritized high-priority well sites and developed a site reconnaissance plan that included travel routes based on geography, protocols, and documentation planning. We worked seamlessly across multiple offices and service lines to perform the document reviews, planning, and field work. We integrated our comprehensive findings with the client’s internal environmental, health, and safety risk matrix, which helped them appropriately plan for this acquisition. As part of the project follow-up, we supported the development and negotiation of the environmental defects notice that included compensation for corresponding defects.

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