Applications for Permits to Drill

On this page, you can find the latest information on approved and pending applications for permits to drill.

Once a leaseholder, operator, or designated agent identifies an oil and gas deposit on a Federal lease, they can file an application for permit to drill.

The BLM cannot approve an application for permit to drill until the operator meets the requirements of certain laws and regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Upon receiving an APD, BLM typically conducts an onsite inspection with surface and/or mineral estate owners, resource specialists, the operator, and when applicable, other Surface Management Agencies (or SMAs, such as states, tribal representatives, or other Federal agencies like the USDA Forest Service). After completing these inspections, the BLM, together with any other relevant SMAs, conducts a NEPA analysis, and then approves, approves with modifications, denies, or defers action on the application. Deferred action or denials can occur because the operator fails to provide all the necessary information or due to severe resource concerns. The BLM and other SMAs may add Conditions of Approval to the APD to protect site-specific resources. An approved APD is valid for two years or until the lease expires, whichever occurs first, but the BLM may grant a two-year extension to allow the operator more time to drill.

The below tables list the number of approved APDs, processed APDs (which includes rejected, returned, and withdrawn APDs in addition to approve APDs), APDs approved and available to drill and pending APDs.

Applications for Permit to Drill Approved and Available to Drill

Fiscal Year 2024
Fiscal Year 2023
Fiscal Year 2022
Fiscal Year 2021
Fiscal Year 2020

FY 2020 Application for Permit to Drill Status Report