August 15, 2006
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Contact: Celia Boddington, 202-452-5125

BLM and MMS Seek Public Input on Regulatory Efforts
To Promote New Forms of Oil and Natural Gas Production

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today that they are seeking public input as they prepare to draft regulations relating to potentially promising new forms of oil and natural gas production. These new forms of production, if found to be technically and commercially viable, could help reduce America’s dependence on foreign energy sources.

The BLM and MMS are inviting the public to comment on two related, though separate, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, published in today’s Federal Register. One proposal would provide economic incentives to companies that produce natural gas from gas hydrates on the Outer Continental Shelf and Federal lands in Alaska. (Gas hydrates are crystalline substances composed of water and gas together in solid form.) The second regulatory initiative would provide economic incentives to companies using a process that injects carbon dioxide (CO2) and other appropriate gases into oil and gas fields under Federal management. This carbon dioxide injection process is aimed at increasing production from Federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leases.

The two Advanced Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRs) are based on direction from Congress, as set forth in the National Energy Policy Act of 2005. Sections 353 and 354 of this law seek to promote domestic energy production by offering royalty relief to companies that produce natural gas from gas hydrates or use carbon dioxide or other gas-injection techniques to enhance oil and gas recovery.

Those who would like to comment on the gas hydrate and/or carbon dioxide injection rulemaking proposals may submit written comments by any of the following methods: regular mail to Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Administrative Record, Room 401 LS, Eastern States Office, 7450 Boston Boulevard, Springfield, Virginia 22153; e-mail to comments_washington@blm.gov; e-mail at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, following the instructions at that link; or by hand-delivery of comments to the BLM at Room 401, 1620 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. In the case of gas hydrates, comments should refer to 1004-AD81; for the carbon dioxide process, comments should refer to 1004-AD82.

The BLM manages more land – 261 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. With a budget of about $1.8 billion, the Bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the United States. As the steward of numerous energy resources, the BLM carries out a multiple-use mission, one that sustains the health and productivity of the public lands for present and future generations.

MMS, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages offshore oil and gas exploration as well as renewable and alternative energy sources such as wind, wave, and solar on 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf while protecting the human, marine, and coastal environments. The OCS provides 30 percent of oil and 21 percent of natural gas produced domestically, and sand used for coastal restoration. MMS collects, accounts for, and disburses mineral revenues from Federal and American Indian lands, and contributes to the Land and Water Conservation Fundand other special use funds, with Fiscal Year 2005 disbursements of approximately $9.9 billion and more than $153 billion since 1982.

Last updated: 10-20-2009