Guidelines For Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI)


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 emailed to the appropriate BLM State Office. Your EOI must include the complete legal land description. No filing fee is required.

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.

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, the 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, the BLM’s records must be updated to document the US mineral interest verified by the SMA.

Regulations pertaining to competitive oil and gas leasing can be found in Title 43 CFR 3120.  Prior to submitting your EOI, the 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  • Lands withdrawn from mineral leasing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 designated or proposed wilderness study areas (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 2,560 acres.  If your EOI contains more than 2,560 acres and you have not configured your parcel, the BLM will parcel the lands, which may not agree with the parcel configuration you prefer.

Split-Estate (private surface/federal minerals)

If you are nominating any split-estate lands--private surface/federal minerals--your EOI must include the name and address of the current private surface owners(s).  The name and address of the surface owner(s) must be referenced to the appropriate legal description.

EOIs that do not provide the required surface owner name and address information for split estate lands will not be processed. EOIs that do not provide a reference between the surface owner(s) name and the corresponding legal description will not be processed.

The surface owner information is required to enable the BLM to send courtesy letters to private surface owners when Federal minerals underlying their surface are included in an oil and gas Notice of Competitive Lease Sale. The letters will provide surface owners with the notice of the scheduled auction as well as information about the BLM’s regulations and procedures concerning Federal oil and gas leasing and development on split estate lands. 

For more information on split estate, click here.

Please mail your EOI to:

Bureau of Land Management
Montana State Office
Attn:  Kimberly Werven
Fluids Adjudication Section
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings MT 59101-4669

FAX (406) 896-5292 your EOI to:
Kimberly Werven, Fluids Adjudication Section                                                Email your EOI to: