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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

During the 2017 calendar year, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted intensive cultural resources surveys for 30 proposed Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (Anadarko) projects located on property owned by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) in Reeves County, Texas (Project Areas). These projects included well pads, access roads, and pipeline rights-of-way (ROWs). All 30 projects were privately funded and did not require any federal permitting or coordination. However, as the GLO is considered to be a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the portions of the 30 projects on GLO property all fell under the regulations of the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). At the request of Whitenton Group, Inc. (Whitenton), Horizon conducted the cultural resources surveys of the Project Areas on behalf of Anadarko in compliance with the ACT. The purpose of the surveys was to determine if any archeological sites were located within the 30 Project Areas and, if any existed, to determine if the projects had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites considered eligible for formal designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). The cultural resources surveys were conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee (TAC) annual permit number 7883.

The cultural resources surveys of the 30 Project Areas resulted in the documentation of 3 new archeological sites (41RV116, 41RV119, and 41RV120). Site 41RV116 was documented as a moderate-density prehistoric lithic scatter on a small rise to the north of Halamicek Draw within Anadarko’s Block 55 (Area C) Gas, Oil, and SWD Pipeline ROW project. The presence of early-stage lithic reduction debris on the site, coupled with the lack of formal tools, features, or fire-cracked rock (FCR), suggests that the site functioned as a lithic procurement area rather than a campsite. Based on (1) the surficial nature of the observed cultural deposits; (2) the lack of buried, stratified cultural deposits; and (3) the lack of any temporally diagnostic materials on the site, it was Horizon’s opinion that site 41RV116 was ineligible for formal designation as a SAL. With this in mind, Horizon recommended that no additional investigations were warranted on site 41RV116 in connection with the Block 55 (Area C) Gas, Oil, and SWD Pipeline ROW project. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) concurred with this assessment on 16 May 2017.

Site 41RV119 was documented as a moderate-density prehistoric lithic scatter within a generally featureless desert upland to the south of a tributary of Smith Draw within Anadarko’s Mako State 2-34 Frac Pond to Laramie 55-4-7 Frac Pond Water Transfer Pipeline ROW project. The presence of early-stage lithic reduction debris on the site, coupled with the lack of formal tools, features, or FCR, suggests that the site functioned as a lithic procurement area rather than a campsite. Based on (1) the surficial nature of the observed cultural deposits; (2) the lack of buried, stratified cultural deposits; and (3) the lack of any temporally diagnostic materials on the site, it was Horizon’s opinion that site 41RV119 was ineligible for formal designation as a SAL. With this in mind, Horizon recommended that no additional investigations were warranted on site 41RV119 in connection with the Mako State 2-34 Frac Pond to Laramie 55-4-7 Frac Pond Water Transfer Pipeline ROW project. The THC concurred with this assessment on 6 June 2017.

Finally, site 41RV120 was documented as a low-density prehistoric lithic scatter on the gradual slope of a small rise to the northwest of Horsehead Draw within Anadarko’s Reeves Oil Pipeline Phase I and Block 56 (Area B) to Block 55 (Area C) Gas, Oil, and SWD Pipeline ROW project. The presence of early-stage lithic reduction debris on the site, coupled with the lack of formal tools, features, or FCR, suggests that the site functioned as a lithic procurement area rather than a campsite. Based on (1) the surficial nature of the observed cultural deposits; (2) the lack of buried, stratified cultural deposits; and (3) the lack of any temporally diagnostic materials on the site, it was Horizon’s opinion that site 41RV120 was ineligible for formal designation as a SAL. With this in mind, Horizon recommended that no additional investigations were warranted on site 41RV119 in connection with the Reeves Oil Pipeline Phase I and Block 56 (Area B) to Block 55 (Area C) Gas, Oil, and SWD Pipeline ROW project. The THC concurred with the site assessment and Avoidance Plan on 26 July 2017.

The cultural resources surveys conducted on the remaining 27 projects all produced negative results. Based on the negative survey results, it was Horizon’s opinion that the construction of the remaining 27 projects would have no adverse effect on significant cultural resources designated as or considered eligible for designation as SALs. Horizon therefore recommended that Anadarko be allowed to proceed with the construction of these projects relative to the jurisdiction of the ACT. The THC concurred with these recommendations.

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