UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
 
September 18, 2012
 
In Reply Refer To:
3100 (310) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 09/21/2012
Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-191
Expires:  09/30/2013
 
To:                   All Field Office Officials
 
From:               Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
 
Subject:           Oil and Gas Field Managers Training Requirements
 
Program Area:  Oil and Gas Operations.
 
Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) directs all Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managers and supervisors with oil and gas responsibilities to enroll and successfully complete the Oil and Gas for Managers Distance Learning Course #3100-03 by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.  This course has been developed to improve the consistency of the BLM’s management of its oil and gas program and provide additional program information. 
 
Policy/Action:  The BLM has developeda new course specifically for field managers and supervisors to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to more effectively manage and conduct oversight of the BLM oil and gas program. The course consists of multiple modules and links to existing distance learning courses related to the oil and gas program. The course will be delivered as a two-part, fully online training course. Part I includes Modules 1–4 and Part II will include Modules 5–8. Part I is complete and available for enrollment through the BLM National Training Center (NTC) and Department of the Interior DOILearn Portal. Part II will be released by the end of calendar year 2012. The participants will complete the modules in sequential order.
 
Oil and Gas for Managers Modules 1–8 
  1. Introduction to Oil and Gas
  2. Adventures in Energy (Course 3100-12)
  3. Planning for Oil and Gas
  4. Leasing 101
  5. American Indian Issues (currently under development)
  6. Oil and Gas Operations (currently under development)
  7. Inspection and Enforcement (currently under development)
  8. Resource Conflicts (currently under development) 
The course intends to instruct, assist, and guide field managers and supervisors to:
  1. Make effective management decisions based on the laws, regulations, and policies which apply to oil and gas operational approvals on Federal and Indian lands.
  2. Discuss mission critical considerations used in analyzing Federal and Indian oil and gas operational requests.
  3. Describe effective operational management practices and for ensuring an efficient and environmentally responsible oil and gas program.
  4. Become familiar with the oil and gas industry and scientific use of cutting-edge technologies and environmental best management practices for the permitting of industry operations.
  5. Gain a broad knowledge base of oil and gas operations, including inspection and enforcement, to facilitate effective management of these resources.
  6. Conduct program oversight on how and which lands should be eligible for oil and gas leasing and under what major or moderate constraints.
  7. Identify authorities and policies covering leasing; explain how to review, post, and conduct lease sales; and manage awarding of leases and non-competitive lease offerings.
  8. Conduct program oversight and identify authorities and operational policies of the oil and gas program as well as inspection and enforcement aspects.
Timeframes:  All BLM field managers and supervisors with oil and gas responsibilities are required to complete Modules 1–8 by the end of FY 2013.  Each State Director will certify at the end of FY 2013 that these requirements have been timely met by managers under their supervision.
 
Budget Impact:  Expected budgetary impact to be minimal as all training can be accomplished from their home office.
 
Background:  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report 10-313, dated March 2010, found that the BLM has not provided sufficient or timely training for many of its key staff responsible for oil and gas measurement. The report stated that knowledge gaps exist department-wide, and the gaps are particularly pressing in some disciplines and in some BLM field offices.  Compounding this, according to agency [BLM] staff, program operations at many BLM locations are being further impeded by high staff turnover rates.  Furthermore, as the oil and gas companies compete for scarce skills knowledgeable in oil and gas, the BLM is increasingly challenged in attracting and retaining qualified staff.  Until the BLM can maintain a well-trained and stable production verification workforce, the BLM risks not having staff with sufficient knowledge to identify inaccurate oil and gas measurement.
 
Beyond the recommendations of the GAO, there are additional challenges faced by local managers related to planning, permitting, development, and other competing resource issues caused by oil and gas development. Many of these concerns are magnified by new technologies, development in new areas, and a significant increase in activity in other areas tied to the need for reliable domestic energy supplies.
 
These training modules aim to fill the knowledge gap, particularly in the field offices, and provide additional guidance to managers and supervisors with oil and gas responsibilities. Presenting the course online will save the BLM time and money in preparing its direct line managers to properly supervise oil and gas operations, enable flexibility for participants to work within their own schedules, and allow them to serve as a continuing reference resource. The BLM developed these courses following a review of its training oversight in field and state offices, and believes these courses are consistent with strong and reliable internal controls.
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None.
 
Coordination:  This guidance was coordinated with the NTC, Washington Office Division of Fluid Minerals (WO-310), State Office Management personnel and Field Managers. 
 
Contact:  If you have questions or concerns regarding this additional training requirement, please contact me Michael D. Nedd, Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management at  202-208-4201, or your staff may contact Steven Wells, (WO-310) at 202-912-7143.  Training requirements and past course work validation will be coordinated by the NTC.  Please contact Catherine Cook at 602-906-5221 for training assistance or specific questions regarding regional course enrollment.
 
 
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd                                                                Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                         Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management