July 6, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
2800/3100 (300) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-192
Expires: 09/30/2007 
To:                   All Field Officials
From:               Director
Subject:           Gold Book – Fourth Edition, Fluid Minerals Standards and Guidelines
Program Areas: Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Operations
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to announce the publication and availability of the Bureau of Land Management’s Surface Operating Standards and Guidelines for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development (Gold Book) and to direct State and Field Office distribution of the Gold Book to fluid minerals operators.
Policy/Action: The Gold Book was developed to assist operators in obtaining permit approval and conducting environmentally responsible oil and gas operations on Federal lands. The Gold Book provides operators with a combination of guidance and standards for ensuring compliance with agency policies and operating requirements, such as those found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Onshore Orders, Notices to Lessees, and Policy Directives. Every operation authorized under a Federal oil and gas lease should conform to agency standards and reflect relevant site-specific conditions. 
State and Field Offices are to distribute copies of the Gold Book to fluid minerals operators with operations on Federal surface or minerals. Distribution may be made through mailings, operators’ meetings, conferences, workshops, or onsites. Additional copies of the Gold Book can be ordered through BLM’s Printed Materials Distribution System. The publication number is: P-417.
Timeframe:   Effective immediately.
Background: In the 17 years that have elapsed between the publication of the Third Edition of the Gold Book and the release of the new Fourth Edition, standards and practices in the oil, gas, and geothermal surface program have evolved and improved over time. The fluid minerals program has become a focus of the public’s attention, and awareness of environmental issues has increased. Industry has met this challenge by developing improved practices for exploring, drilling, and producing energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The Gold Book includes these new “Best Management Practices” as standards and guidelines and serves as a guide for the operator and Federal agencies in the conduct of operations on Federal and split estate lands.
Budget Impact: The budget impact of Gold Book implementation and distribution is minimal. 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: No manual or handbook sections are affected.
Coordination: The Gold Book was developed jointly with the U.S. Forest Service.
Contact:  Please address any questions related to this IM to:  Jim Perry, Senior Natural Resource Specialist, Division of Fluid Minerals (WO-310), jim_perry@blm.gov, or by telephone at (202) 452-5063.
Signed by:
Authenticated by:
Lawrence E. Benna
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560