Oil and Gas Energy
The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, as amended, gives the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) responsibility for oil and gas leasing on BLM, National Forest, and other Federal lands, as well as private lands where mineral rights have been retained by the Federal Government.
The BLM Oil and Gas Management program is one of the most important mineral leasing programs in the Federal government. Domestic production from over 63,000 Federal onshore oil and gas wells accounts for 11 percent of the Nation's natural gas supply and five percent of its oil. The sales value of the oil and gas produced from public lands exceeded $15.4 billion in 2004. View more >>
Oil and Gas Leasing Reform, June 2010—Background Information
- Oil and Gas Leasing Reform - Overview of land use planning, master leasing plans, and lease parcel review (12 pages, PDF)
- Comparison of Process Changes - 2 page side-by-side comparison of current and proposed leasing reform policy
Additional information about the BLM's National Oil and Gas Energy Program can be found at this website: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas.html.
Oil and Gas Leases on BLM-Administered Lands in OR/WA
The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated as much as one trillion cubic feet of natural gas occurs in the Columbia Basin of south-central Washington and north-central Oregon. They have also estimated that there are numerous small gas fields throughout the Pacific Northwest, such as the Mist Gas Field in northwestern Oregon. Thick basalt flows overlay the potential reservoirs, making exploration and development costly.
Leasing reforms introduced by the Obama Administration in 2010 have placed a priority on the exploration and development of existing leases and the relinquishment of idle ones.
Apparently as a consequence of that policy, as of June 18, 2013 there were only 2 leases (3,804 acres) in Washington, a 98% acreage decrease since May 29, 2012; and 112 leases (188,391 acres) in Oregon, a 27% acreage decrease over that same period. The majority of the leases are located in the Vale District (106 leases encompassing 172,839 acres). And Prineville has 6 leases encompassing 15,552 acres. No leases are being explored or developed as of October 2013. However, in September 2013, 145,476 acres of land in Eastern Oregon were nominated by industry for a future O&G lease sale. This marks substantial renewed interest.
Oil and Gas Pipelines on Federal Lands in OR/WA
There are two major pipelines that cross BLM lands in Oregon, the Ruby Pipeline, in south-central Oregon, went into service on July 28, 2011; and the Jordan Cove LNG/Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, which is being proposed to extend the Ruby Pipeline across southwestern Oregon to an export/import facility at Coos Bay on the Pacific coast. There is an unnamed pipeline that runs generally SW and NE from Bend, OR, and another to the north of Vale, OR that runs NW. The database showing pipelines crossing BLM lands in Washington is under review and consequently no information about them was available at this time.
For More Information
For more information regarding oil and gas leasing click here.
If you would like to research Oregon and Washington Plats and Land Records to locate lands available for leasing click here. You are required to provide the surface owners' name(s) and address(es) when requesting split estate lands (private surface/Federal minerals) to be offered for sale.
For more information on nominating land for leasing, click here.
General lease and pipeline locations can be found at the OR/WA BLM energy website: http://www.blm.gov/or/energy.
For more information on energy development on BLM administered lands visit the National BLM's New Energy for America website: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy.html or BLM's home page website: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.html.
For more information on energy revenues collected by the U.S. government visit the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenues' website at: http://statistics.onrr.gov/ReportTool.aspx.