This Policy is Inactive

Oil and Gas Leasing Reform – Master Leasing Plans

IM 2013-101
Instruction Memorandum


January 28, 2013

In Reply Refer To:  
1610/3100 (210/310) P 

Instruction Memorandum No. 2013-101
Expires: 09/30/2014

To:                  State Directors

From:               Acting Director

Subject:           Oil and Gas Leasing Reform – Master Leasing Plans

Program Areas:  Oil and Gas, Planning, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) announces the incorporation of Master Leasing Plans (MLP), Chapter V, into H-1624-1 – Planning for Fluid Mineral Resources and establishes a process for integrating an MLP into the land use planning process.

Policy/Action:  Refer to the new Chapter V, Master Leasing Plans, in H-1624-1 – Planning for Fluid Mineral Resources (attachment 1) as guidance for developing an MLP and for incorporating an MLP into the land use planning process for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Chapter V further implements the MLP policy contained in Washington Office IM 2010-117, Oil and Gas Leasing Reform – Land Use Planning and Lease Parcel Reviews, May 17, 2010, and supplements that policy with additional guidance for developing an MLP.

For some Resource Management Plan (RMP) revisions or amendments that were in development prior to the issuance of this IM, the BLM may have already begun the focused planning and analysis of an MLP (described in section C of Chapter V) for oil and gas development in portions of the RMP planning area. Planning efforts for both RMP revisions and amendments that pre-date and post-date this IM should consider the management approaches described in section C of Chapter V (e.g., resource condition objectives, resource protection measures as lease stipulations, or other management actions). Field offices should review the planning documents under development and consider whether they are consistent with the MLP process as described in IM 2010-117 and Chapter V. The draft and proposed RMP/Environmental Impact Statement planning documents should explain which sections in the documents address the issues presented in this MLP guidance and how the sections apply.                  

Timeframe: This policy is effective upon issuance. 

Budget Impact: This IM provides additional guidance for implementing the BLM Oil and Gas Leasing Reform, as directed in IM 2010-117 and, therefore, will not result in costs beyond those already anticipated for implementation of Leasing Reform.  

Background: Washington Office Leasing Reform IM 2010-117 introduced the MLP as part of the Leasing Reform.  MLPs are prepared for selected, distinct geographic areas where additional planning or analysis is needed to address likely resource conflicts or cumulative impacts if new or additional oil and gas leasing and development were to occur in the area. MLPs take a more closely focused look at likely development and may result in new RMP decisions pertaining to leasing and post-leasing development of the area.  

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The new MLP guidance can be found in Chapter V of H‑1624-1 – Planning for Fluid Mineral Resources

Coordination:  The BLM developed the MLP handbook section in coordination with its Renewable Resources and Planning Directorate, Minerals and Realty Management Directorate, and the Office of the Solicitor.

Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Michael D. Nedd, Assistant Director for Minerals and Realty Management, at 202-208-4201; or Edwin L. Roberson, Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning, at 202-208-4896. Your staff may contact Jim Perry, Senior Natural Resource Specialist, Washington Office Division of Fluid Minerals (WO-310), at 202-912-7145; or Matthew Higdon, Planning and Environmental Analyst, Washington Office Division of Decision Support, Planning and NEPA (WO-210), at 202‑912‑7282.


Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Michael Pool                                                               Catherine Emmett
Acting Director                                                          Division of IRM Governance, WO-560