Luca Technologies, a Colorado-based biotechnology company focused on extracting natural gas from coal seams in Wyoming, has declared bankruptcy.
Luca began testing their “methane farming” method in the Powder River basin in 2006. Since then, they have faced regulatory and financial difficulties which have resulted in permitting delays, layoffs, and now, finally Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Methane farming generates natural gas by feeding nutrients to microbes in coal beds.
Federal land managers have rejected an application by a Colorado company to use bacteria to produce methane from northeast Wyoming coal beds.
The Gillette News-Record reported Thursday the Bureau of Land Management threatened to prosecute Luca Technologies Inc. for trespassing if it continued the work. The company says it will comply but disagrees with the decision and may sue.
The BLM acted after Luca refused to pay an additional $40,000 for the cost of processing the application, on top of $40,000 it paid previously.