Interior Moves Forward with Oil and Gas Drilling Site Lease


To comply with a provision of the Climate, Tax and Healthcare Act signed in August, the Home Office announced on Thursday that it would continue sales of onshore and offshore oil and gas concessions on the federal lands and waters.

At the request of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin III, DW.Va., the law included provisions that required the Department of the Interior to conduct offshore leases it had previously canceled and clarified that land could only be leased for renewable energy development if a certain area was offered for oil and natural gas leasing.

For onshore rental, the Bureau of Land Management will begin evaluating its upcoming sales in New Mexico and Wyoming “as part of a strategy that includes legally compliant onshore rental sales,” which include changes such as increasing the minimum royalty rate, imposing fees for filings of Expressions of Interest and eliminating non-competitive leasing.

For offshore leasing, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a draft environmental impact statement for two oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico that the department was required by law to conduct in March and September of 2019, respectively. next year.

The two lease sales, along with a third in Cook Inlet in Alaska, were originally included in the department’s 2017-2022 offshore oil and gas lease program. The Home Office announced in May that it would not go ahead with sales, citing a lack of industry interest and delays, in part due to conflicting court rulings.


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