CASPER — The Bureau of Land Management published a final environmental review for a large oil and gas project proposed in Converse County on Thursday. If approved, it would clear the way for several energy fi rms to drill upwards of 5,000 new wells on about 1.5 million acres of land. The announcement triggers a 30-day public protest period starting Friday.

The federal regulatory agency charged with reviewing the potential environmental and cultural impacts of the proposal moved to support an amendment to the area’s resource management plan. If ultimately approved, the final environmental impact statement and resource management plan amendment would give a green light to five oil and gas companies’ plan to drill 5,000 wells across about 1.5 million acres of land over the next decade. About 500 wells could be drilled each year. The land and minerals are owned by several entities including the federal government, the state and private owners.

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