Carson City District
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Fluid Minerals Management (Geothermal, Oil and Gas)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District manages vast stretches of public lands in western Nevada that have the potential to make significant, continuing contributions to the Nation’s energy portfolio. The District’s Fluid Minerals Program reviews and approves permits and licenses from companies to explore, develop, and produce both renewable (geothermal) and non-renewable (oil and gas) energy on Federal public lands. The District ensures that proposed projects meet all applicable environmental laws and regulations while working with local communities, state agencies, industry, and other Federal agencies in the environmental review process.

Once projects are approved, the District is responsible for ensuring that developers and operators comply with use authorization requirements and regulations. Companies pay for development of public energy resources. Total royalty, rentals, and bonus payments vary from year to year.

Geothermal Energy Program:
Up to 75 percent of all geothermal leases acres on Federal public land in the U.S. are in Nevada. The Carson City District sits atop one of the most active geothermal resources anywhere, managing over 180 geothermal leases.  Four of the top five BLM national priority geothermal projects are within this District (CLICK HERE to access the BLM's Renewable Energy Projects Page).

Interest by private companies for geothermal exploration, drilling and development of new geothermal power plants is at an unprecedented high level.  Over 130 permit applications have been received to date; this includes Notices of Intent for exploration, exploration drilling plans, Geothermal Drilling Permits, sundry notices for facilities changes at existing exploration and production facilities, and geothermal power plant development plans.  The Fluid Minerals Team of the Stillwater Field Office processes leasing applications, drilling requests and proposals for future power plants and related energy transmission facilities.

The District also coordinates with the USDI Bureau of Reclamation and USDA Forest Service (Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Bridgeport Ranger District) with leasing nominations and exploration/development proposals. BLM is the lead for processing these proposals and must coordinate with these agencies and their specialists in developing environmental review documents.

Oil and Gas Program:
The Carson City District current manages 45 oil and gas leases in Churchill, Nye, and Mineral Counties (Stillwater Field Office). Leases are sold on a competitive basis and BLM issues notices when a lease sale is pending. The BLM-Nevada State Office is responsible for holding competitive sales of Federal lands in the State of Nevada for oil and gas leasing. Sales include lists of parcel numbers, legal land descriptions and corresponding stipulations. 

CLICK HERE for a schedule of upcoming competitive oil and gas lease sales.

CLICK HERE for information on how to submit an informal Expression of Interest (EOI) so that certain lands be offered in an oil and gas competitive lease auction.

CLICK HERE for information on Procedures for Submitting a Geophysical Exploration Permit, Applications for Permit to Drill, and links to a variety of oil and gas program forms and handbooks.


BLM-National Energy Webpage

BLM-Nevada Energy Webpage

Photo of a Geothermal Drilling Rig.
Got Hole? Exploration and drilling are just the first steps in tapping geothermal energy for the production of electricity. The BLM-Carson City District has more active geothermal energy activity than any other BLM District.
Photo of the Enel Geothermal Power Plant at Salt Wells.
The BLM-Carson City District is home to a growing number of geothermal power plants, like the ENEL North America's plant at Salt Wells in Churchill County (Stillwater Field Office).
Photo of ENEL North America's Geothermal Plant at Salt Wells.
ENEL North America's Salt Wells Geothermal Plant was commissioned in April 2009. The plant could be enlarged in the future, and other companies are planning similar geothermal power plants in the area.

CLICK HERE to Link to Fluid Mineral Project Environmental Reviews (NEPA Documents)

Last updated: 04-13-2011