Little more than six years ago, five independent E&Ps signed on to propose a drilling project in the Powder River Basin. But these were no ordinary producers and what they collectively proposed was no ordinary project. With the approaching dawn of a new Administration, E&Ps are scarfing up $10,000-apiece drilling permits on federal lands, especially in N.M., and Wyo., where the oil crash has seriously bruised the states’ economies. Then there’s The Magnificent Five whose Converse County Oil and Gas Project has received a final nod from the BLM to drill 5,000 wells over 10 years. EOG Resources, Occidental, Chesapeake, Northwoods Energy, and Devon each have a seat at the board of what will be one of the largest oil and gas projects in Wyo., history. Extending across 1.5 million acres, the venture will include 1,500 miles of gathering pipe, hundreds of miles of water pipeline, numerous roads, and power lines. More than 8,000 jobs are expected to be created along with $18-$28 billion in tax revenues.

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