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December 4, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
3100 (310) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2010-025
Expires: 09/30/2011
To:                   All Field Officials
From:               Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
Subject:            Geophysical Exploration for Oil and Gas, Pursuant to 43 CFR 3150 Lease Activity Analysis – Component of Reporting Notice of Intent and Authorization to Conduct Oil and Gas Geophysical Exploration Operations Approval
Program:         Oil and Gas Operations.
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides policy for reporting geophysical exploration activity authorized under 43 CFR 3150 to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Washington Office (WO-310) for inclusion in the quarterly lease activity analysis.
Policy/Action:  The BLM field offices are to report geophysical exploration activities authorized under 43 CFR 3150 to WO-310 in the format described in Attachment 1 immediately after each Notice of Intent (NOI) is approved.
Background:  WO-310 is required to provide the Director a quarterly report of oil and gas lease activity including all exploration and development activities that take place on or evaluate Federal oil and gas leases.  Geophysical exploration activities are part of this activity analysis because they indicate that oil and gas interests exist in leased areas and that these interests are willing to expend exploration dollars in those areas.  However, geophysical activities are not tied directly to leases authorized under 43 CFR 3160 and a tie must be made between the geophysical operations authorized under 43 CFR 3150 with lease operations authorized under 43 CFR 3160 using geospatial data common to each authorization.  WO-310 and the National Operations Center (NOC) have developed a method for relating the geospatial data associated with the NOIs authorizing the geophysical activities to geospatial data that describes oil and gas leases.  Consequently, we are able to determine what leased lands have been evaluated by geophysical methods. 
Each quarter WO-310 requests the field offices to provide geospatial data included in NOIs authorized by those field offices for incorporation into the lease activity reports.  These quarterly requests require a lead time and place an extraordinary burden on the field offices each time that the data requests are made.  The quarterly geospatial data requests will be eliminated if the field offices submit this data to WO-310 when each NOI is approved.
Timeframe:  Effective immediately.
Budget Impact:  Minimal.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: This IM transmits interim policy that will be incorporated into MS-3150, Onshore Oil & Gas Geophysical Exploration Surface Management Requirements, during the next revision. 
Coordination:  This IM was coordinated with the State Office Deputy State Directors for Lands and Minerals and the NOC.
Contact:  If you have any questions concerning the content of this IM, please contact me at
202-208-4201 or for technical information, contact Jim Burd at 202-912-7156 or james_burd @blm.gov.
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd                                                                Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                         Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management
1 Attachment

Last updated: 12-14-2009