Noncompetitive Leasing Process

Regulations pertaining to the filing of noncompetitive lease offers (NCOs) can be found at 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 3110. Noncompetitive leases may be issued only for parcels that have been offered competitively and failed to receive a bid.

BLM will not place for sale lands under lease, or lands where mineral ownership is not federally owned or lands:

  • Within city limits;
  • Withdrawn from mineral leasing;
  • Within wilderness study or designated areas (WSA/DWA);
  • With pending mineral entry applications;
  • On patented mining claims; or
  • Posted in a Notice of Competitive Lease Sale or within the 2-year window after a lease.


Noncompetitive Oil and Gas Lease Offers

A noncompetitive offer must be made on Form 3100-11, Offer to Lease and Lease for Oil and Gas. Each offer must: 

  • Be submitted on a separate lease offer form;
  • Be filed with a $360.00 nonrefundable filing fee and the first year's advance rental in the amount of $1.50 per acre or fraction thereof;
  • Not be made for less than 640.00 acres or one full section, whichever is larger;
  • Not be made for more than 10,240 acres;
  • Be within a six mile square area;
  • Be submitted in triplicate - one original and two copies, typewritten or printed in ink;
  • Be manually signed in ink and dated by the offeror or offeror's authorized agent;
  • Not include both public domain and acquired lands in the same offer; and

Not include lands which are both inside and outside a unit agreement.

NCOs are not held confidential and are made part of the public record when received. If the applicant files an NCO by mail, a copy of the receipt showing the serial number assigned to the offer is sent to the applicant for his records. This number should be referred to in any correspondence regarding that offer. The different types of NCOs are referred to as:

  • Presale offers; and
  • Postsale offers. Postsale offers include:
  • Day-after-sale offers; and
  • 2-year window offers.

Noncompetitive Offer to Lease - Presale

A presale NCO is a formal nomination for lands to be included in a Notice of Competitive Oil and Gas Lease sale, for an upcoming oil and gas lease sale. The offeror receives priority as of the time and date the offer is filed in the proper BLM office. If no bid is received for the parcel in the NCO at the oral auction, a noncompetitive lease shall issue, all else being regular, to the applicant, and no further competition is required for the parcel. Since a presale NCO is a formal nomination, the offer must conform to all regulations and requirements for noncompetitive offers.

Note: A presale NCO cannot be filed on lands which are in a one-year period commencing the expiration, relinquishment, termination, or cancellation of a prior lease. If during this one-year period you are interested in having the lands placed on a sale, you may file an expression of interest , which is an informal nomination of the lands.

If the parcel containing the lands in your presale NCO is sold competitively at the sale, your presale NCO will be rejected, with right to appeal, and a refund of the first year's advance rental will be initiated.

Noncompetitive Offer to Lease - Postsale (Day-after-sale)

All parcels not receiving bids the day of the sale will be available for noncompetitive leasing for a period of two years following the last day of the competitive lease sale. All NCOs filed on the first business day following the oral lease sale will be considered simultaneously filed. Numerous offers can be filed by one person for the same parcel, and a drawing will be held to determine the priority for the offers. Each offer must conform to all regulations and requirements for noncompetitive offers.

Noncompetitive Offer to Lease - Postsale (2-year window)

NCOs for parcels not being sold at a competitive lease sale will be acceptable for a period of two years from the last day of the competitive sale. NCOs filed after the day-after-sale filing period will receive priority from the date and time filed. Each offer must conform to all regulations and requirements for noncompetitive offers.

Offers Filed During Month of Sale : Offers filed from the first day following the end of the competitive sale until the end of that same month (parcel integrity period) must be made for the entire parcel included in the sale notice and must describe the lands by that single parcel number appearing in the sale notice. Thereafter, and until the end of the 2 years of noncompetitive availability, offers must use legal land descriptions and are not limited to the parcel configurations offered at the auction.

Offers Filed After Parcel Integrity Period and During Remainder of 2-Year Period : Any filing made after the end of the month in which a sale is held is not required to be filed by the parcel number, but shall be filed by the legal land description. An offer filed after the end of the parcel integrity period may include all or a portion of a parcel or may include a combination of parcels and shall be filed in accordance with 43 CFR 3110 with respect to minimum and maximum lease offer size.

Withdrawal of Offer in Whole or in Part:

A presale offer may be withdrawn by the offeror at any time prior to issuance of the noncompetitive lease.

A postsale lease offer may be withdrawn by the offeror if the request to withdraw the offer is received by the proper BLM office after 60 days from the date of filing of the offer and prior to lease issuance. If a postsale offer is withdrawn after 60 days from the date of filing, the lands would continue to be available for noncompetitive leasing for the remainder of the 2 year period.

If a public domain mineral offer is partially withdrawn, the lands retained in the offer must total (in the lower 48 states) 640 acres, or one full section, or include all available lands within a section where there are no contiguous lands available.