3160 (MT9221.WL) P
EMAIL TRANSMISSION – 5/28/09
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2009-043
To: Field Managers
From: State Director
Subject: Oil and Gas Theft Reporting Guidelines and Format
Program Area: Oil and Gas Management
Purpose: To provide field offices (FOs) with supplemental guidance regarding Washington Office (WO) Instruction Memorandum (IM) No. 2009-115; Oil and Gas Theft Reporting Guidelines and Format
Policy/Action: Washington Office IM No. 2009-115 (Attachment 1) provided a form to be used to document and process reports of theft or fraud involving oil or gas from Federal or Indian oil and gas leases. The WO IM also provided a list of steps that are to be followed when oil or gas theft or fraud is suspected or reported to the BLM. None of these steps include coordination with the State Office. It is important that coordination with the Branch of Fluid Minerals takes place prior to reporting to the Law Enforcement Special Investigations Group (SIG) and the WO. The Branch of Fluid Minerals will in turn coordinate with the Deputy State Director, Division of Resources, and the State Director as necessary. It is important that the State Director is aware of any suspected theft or fraud and that the SIG may be conducting an investigation. Therefore, the following step is to be completed prior to sending the report to the SIG and the WO as required in step 2 of the WO IM:
The Field Office must report any suspected or reported theft or fraud to the Branch of Fluid Minerals. The Branch of Fluid Minerals will coordinate as necessary within the Montana State Office and will let the Field Office know when they can proceed with sending the report to the SIG and the WO.
Timeframe: Effective immediately, any known or suspected theft or fraud involving Federal or Indian oil and gas leases is to be reported to the Montana State Office prior to sending a report to the SIG or to the WO.
Budget Impact: This IM has no budget impact.
Background: Oil and gas site security regulations, found at 43 CFR 3162.7-5, provide for greater product accountability, minimize the opportunity for theft or fraud of oil or gas, and facilitate detection when a theft or fraud has occurred.
Site security regulations require that operators of Federal and Indian oil and gas leases report any thefts or fraud of oil or gas from their leases to the authorized officer as soon as discovered, but no later than the next working day. The BLM is responsible for investigating known or suspected theft or fraud of oil or gas from Federal and Indian leases, whether it is reported by an operator, BLM employee, or outside source. It is important that BLM law enforcement personnel have all available information relating to the incident in order to proceed with an investigation. As such, documentation of the details of any known or suspected theft or fraud is critical. This data is also used by BLM oil and gas personnel to determine whether the loss of oil or gas was avoidable or unavoidable. It is also important that the State Director is aware of any suspected theft or fraud and is aware that the SIG may be conducting an investigation.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: This IM is being issued in coordination with guidance from the WO Mineral and Realty Management Office.
Contact: Please direct any questions to Will Lambert at (406) 896-5328.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Gene R. Terland Kathy Ray
State Director Staff Assistant (MT9240)
Supervisor, Great Falls Field Station