Casper Field Office

Energy & Minerals 

With BLM's unique mandate of multiple use, management of the public lands is based on balancing the use of lands and resources to obtain an ecologically sound environment, contribute to the mineral and energy needs of a strong economy, and provide a reasonable return to the federal treasury for the use of public lands and resources.

Mineral development is an important land use within BLM's multiple-use program. Mineral production on public land in Wyoming involves three distinct systems: location, leasing, and material sale.

Important mineral commodities in the Casper Field Office area are oil and gas, coal, geothermal, sodium, as well as a variety of locatable minerals. The High Plains District Office manages the Powder River Basin coal resources in Wyoming.

Locatable Minerals

Gold, silver, gemstones, precious metals, and bentonite are considered locatable minerals. The Mining Law of 1872 is the principal law through which metallic and nonmetallic locatable minerals on public lands are made available. Miners would locate a claim to acquire the mineral rights. When a valuable deposit is found, the claim is patented, and the title to both the mineral and surface land is obtained.

Salable Minerals

Resource
Cubic
Yards
Value
Clay
118,924
$29,732
Sand & Gravel
1, 088,786
$688,379
Soil - Other
7,538
$2,486
Stone
1,129,367
$1,509,115
Mineral materials are those used in construction (sand, gravel, dirt, and rock). Adequate local supplies of these resources are important to the economic life of any community.

The mineral materials program on public lands in Wyoming centers mainly around the use of sand and gravel for concrete aggregate and fill, and rock for aggregate, riprap, and decorative purposes (flagstone and moss rock). Mineral materials may be sold at fair market value to interested parties. Local governments and nonprofit organizations may obtain these materials free of cost for community purposes. In fiscal year 2004, $2,229,712 was received from the sale of 2,344,615 cubic yards of mineral materials. A portion of the revenues from the sale of mineral materials is shared with the state of Wyoming.

Oil & Gas

All public lands that are available for oil and gas leasing must be offered through a competitive leasing process. BLM Wyoming generally holds their sales on the first Tuesday of each even-numbered month. Noncompetitive leasing takes place after a parcel has been offered competitively, but failed to receive a bid. After public lands are leased, applications to conduct exploration, drilling, and production- related activities are reviewed to ensure technical competence, environmental protection, and mineral resources conservation. BLM is then responsible for approving and inspecting drilling and producing operations. The Reservoir Management Group manages oil and gas reservoirs throughout Wyoming.

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