An expression of interest (EOI) is an informal nomination to request certain lands be included in a competitive oil and gas lease sale. This request must be made in writing (no specific form required) and either mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the BLM New Mexico State Office.
No filing fee is required. EOIs are not automatically placed on a sale when received. The parcels must be reviewed for availability and environmental concerns prior to being placed on a sale. Additionally, if your EOI includes lands where the surface is managed by another agency, BLM is required to obtain consent and recommendations from that surface managing agency (SMA) before placing the lands on a competitive sale notice. The SMA may need to prepare or update its environmental document, which will require additional time. Also, BLM’s records must be updated to document the US mineral interest verified by the SMA.
As per WO IM 2014-004 dated October 28, 2013, the BLM will publish EOI submissions received on or after January 1, 2014, on the website of the BLM State Office where the nominated parcel is located. EOI submitters who consider their name and address confidential should not include that information in their EOI. The BLM no longer requires submitters of EOIs to provide their name or address. Submitters may still provide this information for contact purposes; however, the BLM will make this information available to the public.
Regulations pertaining to competitive oil and gas leasing can be found in Title 43 CFR 3120. Prior to submitting your EOI, BLM public records should be reviewed to make certain the lands are available for leasing. The following lands are NOT available for leasing:
- Lands already leased for oil and gas;
- Lands with non-Federally owned minerals;
- Lands within City Limits;
- Lands Withdrawn from mineral leasing;
- Lands located in a Designated or Proposed Wilderness Study Area (WSA);
- Lands within an Indian Reservation;
- Lands within an existing or pending Land Exchange;
In checking the public records, make certain that:
- Expired leases have not been extended beyond their primary term by diligent drilling;
- Terminated leases are not in the process of being reinstated.
EOIs must be submitted with a complete legal land description. If your EOI contains lands not within a 6-mile square area, please configure the lands into the parcels as you would like to see them on a sale notice. Each parcel must NOT exceed 2560 acres. If your EOI contains more than 2560 acres and you have not configured your parcel, BLM will parcel the lands, which may not agree with the parcel configuration you prefer.
Effective April 16, 2008, if you are nominating any split-estate lands in New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas – where the Federal Government owns the mineral rights and the surface has a private land owner(s). You as the nominator must provide BLM with the name and address of the current private surface owners.
Before a nominated parcel of split-estate lands is approved and offered for sale, BLM will send a letter to the landowner(s), advising when the parcel will likely be offered, and that prior to leasing, BLM will review the parcel to identify any resources that need protection through stipulations to prevent unnecessary damage.
Accretion/Riparian Acreage Guidelines:
If your EOI includes riverbed lands, please refer to the following guidelines:
As part of our continuing efforts to be more responsive to the needs of the oil and gas industry, we have developed survey criteria which may be used in developing legal descriptions for proposed lease areas involving riparian lands, and offer them for your use. In the past, EOI candidates have been affected by loss due to inadequate legal descriptions. Government lots along the several rivers in Oklahoma are our greatest and most specific concern. Our intent is to reduce or eliminate delays caused by inadequate legal descriptions submitted to the BLM. With your help, this can be accomplished. The BLM verification process will use the following criteria to determine whether EOIs or noncompetitive offers filed in accordance with Title 43 CFR 3110 meet the requirement for a full, proper legal land description.
- Provide 3 on the ground survey maps performed by a land surveyor, licensed in the State in which the proposed lease is located.
The survey will include:
A minimum of one original corner of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), or one corner which is a perpetuation of an original PLSS corner, within one mile of the proposed lease area, tied by field survey methods to at least one corner of the subject tract.
Indicate which PLSS corners were found in the field with complete descriptions, and which corners were proportioned, along with control corners used in proportioning, and their relative positions, with complete descriptions of all corners.
Latitude and longitude on one corner of the lease area and methodology for deriving these coordinates.
The survey plat must be signed and meet the minimum standards as set by the Board of Registration for the state in which it was executed. The plat must also be recorded with the appropriate county clerk.
- An “Aerial Photograph”, less than one year old from the date of receipt of the EOI, covering the lease claim area, representing an ordinary stream flow.
- Aerial photographs covering an extended, historic period of time, i.e. 30 to 60 years, necessary to adequately identify possible accretions, erosions, and avulsions pertaining to the lease area.
- Unadjusted closure of the lease area and adjusted closure of the area utilizing the Compass Rule Adjustment Method.
- A complete written description of the leasable tracts. Description will describe the original government lot or aliquot part based on resurvey evidence and river movements and include a metes and bounds description of any accretions or erosion. Original government lots are not to be relotted except by the Branch of Cadastral Survey, BLM, through the resurvey process.
- If possible, a CD containing the complete legal metes and bounds description.
Please submit any questions or comments on surveys to Senior Technical Specialist, Branch of Cadastral Survey/Geographical Science (NM940), Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Office, at (505) 954-2033.