Wyoming digest

Aug 19, 2012 The Associated Press

Worker dies in work accident

CASPER -- A worker has died after being trapped under a 500-gallon metal storage container at a business in Natrona County. Sixty-five-year-old David Morgan of Casper was found dead by a co-worker Thursday afternoon underneath the container.

Morgan was dead at the scene.

Lt. Mark Sellers with the Natrona County Sheriff's Office says investigators are looking into the circumstances of Morgan's death but consider it an industrial accident.

Natrona County Coroner Connie Jacobson says a preliminary examination indicates that Morgan was crushed. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The accident occurred at a Baker Hughes building on Mid Way Road in Natrona County. The company didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.

U mine could start in October

CHEYENNE -- The Bureau of Land Management on Friday released its final environmental analysis to allow uranium mining in a remote area of southwest Wyoming, leaving the project one more regulatory step before mining can begin.

If all goes well before the BLM issues its final approval, Littleton, Colo.-based UR-Energy could start building the Lost Creek mine by early October, according to company and BLM officials.

The BLM will take more public comment on the project until Sept. 17. Its final approval could come about two weeks after that.

"For us, that is the last permit that we need to begin construction, and we really have all of our operational permits in place as well," Wayne W. Heili, president and CEO of UR-Energy, said.

The project already has received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state. It would employ about 100 full-time workers.

The uranium mine would be located about 15 miles southwest of Bairoil in northeastern Sweetwater County. The site would consist of three contiguous mine units of 40-60 acres each. Each mine unit would have 600-700 wells. Total land disturbed after three to four years would be 320-340 acres, company officials have said.

Some conservation groups are concerned the mine and its hundreds of wells will disturb vital wildlife habitat in the corner of the Red Desert where the mine will be located.

State's rig count up by one

HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 17 this week to 1,914.

Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,425 rigs were exploring for oil and 484 were searching for gas. Five were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 1,974 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming each gained two rigs and West Virginia was up one. Texas declined by nine rigs, North Dakota was down six and Pennsylvania four. Arkansas, California and Louisiana each dropped by one.

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