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Leasing of Onshore Federal Oil and Gas Resources

The BLM administers the leasing of minerals found beneath the 258 million surface acres managed by the Bureau, 57 million surface acres where the minerals are Federally owned but the surface is in non-Federal (mostly private) ownership, as well as another 385 million acres whose surface is managed by other Federal agencies.  About half of these 700 million subsurface acres are believed to contain oil and/or natural gas.  

Development of onshore Federal oil and natural gas resources
happens in five phases:

Numerous opportunities for public involvement during land use planning
and then during environmental review of specific projects help ensure
that development is both efficient and environmentally responsible.

Oil and gas resources found on U.S. Forest Service lands are leased under Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMPs) developed by the Forest Service
                         U.S. Forest Service Minerals & Geology Management 

Royalties on Federal oil and gas are collected and disbursed
by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).  

  ONRR Minerals Revenue - Statistical Information


Inventories show that 279 million acres of federal land have oil & gas potential. Of these, over 145 million are closed to leasing and another 20 million are inaccessible because surface occupancy or ground disturbance is prohibited.

A "play" is a geologic area in which oil and gas accumulations or prospects occur.

Carefully  placed and spaced wells disturb as little surface area as possible.  Best management practices  minimize disturbance during development and production.  Required reclamation restores the landform and native vegetation.