BLM takes step to improve access to federal land

Bob Tippee

The Bureau of Land Management has taken an important step toward debottlenecking US energy supply.

The agency, which manages 261 million acres onshore, has issued policies to streamline leasing and encourage oil and gas development.

It's trying to align land use with findings of a resource inventory conducted at the direction of Congress by the Department of the Interior, of which it's part.

The study, reported last January, assessed 59.4 million acres of federal land in the Paradox-San Juan, Uinta-Piceance, Greater Green River, and Powder River basins and Montana Thrust Belt.

It estimated the "technically recoverable" resource of the acreage at 3.9 billion bbl of oil and gas liquids and 138.5 tcf of natural gas.

Within those totals, resources estimated at 1.7 billion bbl of oil and 51.9 tcf of gas are either available for lease under greater than standard restrictions¿ranging from controlled surface use to no surface occupancy¿or not available for lease at all.

In an announcement of the new policies, BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said the inventory findings would help field managers "make informed decisions" about exploration and development.

"Our overall objective is to ensure the timely development of these critical energy resources in an environmentally sound manner," she said.

According to a press statement, BLM state and field offices by next Dec. 31 are to "determine the need for changing existing land-use plans to facilitate oil and gas exploration and development."

The directive alone won't resolve all problems of access to federal land onshore. It will meet internal resistance. It will face lawsuits and political opposition from environmental groups. It can't do anything about immediate challenges of gas supply. It can, however, help keep acute gas-supply pressures from becoming chronic.

The US has for too long denied itself hydrocarbons that it needs and that can be developed at minimal environmental risk. Change in federal land management is overdue.

The oil and gas industry and all industries concerned about supplies of energy, especially natural gas, should support BLM's new policy.

And they should encourage the government to apply similar wisdom offshore.

(Author's e-mail: bobt@ogjonline.com)

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

Twists of activists’ dogma freshens view of global warming

07/02/2015

Fresh perspective on global warming, a topic that needs it, comes from a geologist.

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Tullow Oil provides production update on Jubilee, other fields

07/01/2015 Tullow Oil PLC reported that gross production for the Jubilee field offshore Ghana averaged 105,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 102,000 ...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...

Case for Keystone XL has grown stronger, TransCanada tells Kerry

06/30/2015 Canada is taking strong steps toward combating climate change, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline crude oil pipeline remains in the US national ...

Court rejects BP, Anadarko Macondo appeals

06/30/2015 BP PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have lost separate appeals to the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision expanding their financial...

Senate Democrats outline broad energy goals to nation’s governors

06/30/2015 Forty-five US Senate Democrats outlined broad energy policy goals including more clean energy technology investments, infrastructure improvement, a...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected