BLM seeks comments on four parcels offered in June oil and gas lease sale
SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to offer four parcels, totaling approximately 4,376.5 acres, at the June competitive oil and gas lease sale. The parcels are located in Grand and San Juan counties on public lands managed by the BLM’s Moab Field Office. The BLM has initiated a 30-day public comment period on the environmental assessment that ends on March 26, 2020.
No parcels were proposed to be offered until today’s announcement. Two parcels, specifically 11 and 12, which are located within the Sand Flats Special Recreation Management Area near Moab, Utah, will not be included in the June 2020 competitive oil and gas lease sale. The BLM deferred the two parcels during the internal and consulting party review period. An anonymous party nominated the parcels in November 2019. Although the BLM does not speculate on who nominates an individual parcel, it has received nominations in the past that were not made for the purposes of purchasing or developing a lease.
“Last fall, I enjoyed an amazing 10-mile bike ride on trails in the Moab area,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “I gained a personal appreciation, first, for the unique recreation opportunities available on Utah’s public lands, and second, I was amazed at how well multiple uses coexisted. To the west there are dozens of federal oil and gas leases and to the east are not only some of the most famous mountain biking trails, which are enjoyed by people of all abilities and ages, but also one of the nation’s most magnificent and frequently visited national parks.”
Responsible energy development includes thoughtful consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as the potential resource impacts of decisions to lease. The act of leasing does not authorize any development or use of the surface of leased lands without further application by the operator and approval by the BLM. An additional environmental review will take place at the Application for Permit to Drill stage, where site specific Conditions of Approval will be placed on the permit in addition to the lease stipulations.
To ensure that comments apply to the parcels actually proposed for a lease sale, the BLM encourages the public to submit comments during the official public comment period (as initiated with the release of the EA here). The BLM does not analyze comments that are not specific to parcels identified in the EA because they are outside the scope of the proposed action.
Comments on the environmental documents can be submitted electronically via the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA Register (ePlanning) at https://go.usa.gov/xd5Hs. Comments must be received by March 26, 2020. Links to the environmental documents, lists and maps of the parcels, and attached stipulations are online at https://go.usa.gov/xd5Hs.
Written comments can also be mailed to: Attn: Oil and Gas Leasing Team, Bureau of Land Management Utah, 440 W 200 S, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101.
For additional information, please contact the BLM Utah Leasing Team at 801-539-4148. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.
By law, the BLM is required to offer quarterly oil and gas leases sales of available Federal lands. BLM state offices conduct lease sales quarterly when parcels are available for lease. These lease sales represent parcels that cleared environmental review and public comment. The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. The leases are a contract to explore and develop any potential oil and gas. The lease may be extended if the production is established on the lease, otherwise the lease will expire after the primary term of 10 years.
The BLM generated a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The oil and gas industry on public lands in Utah contributed $2.5 billion in total economic output and jobs for FY 2018. Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury, state budgets and support public education, infrastructure improvements, and other state-determined priorities.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.