Clients with onshore oil and gas operations located on federal public lands need to be aware that expectations based upon the past administration of federal leases may no longer hold true in light of the new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  This is particularly true in areas like expressions of interest (EOIs), extending applications for permits to drill (APDs), and seeking suspensions of operations and suspensions of production.

In late November, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a series of seven Instruction Memoranda (IMs) updating various policies for oil and gas leasing on federal public lands in response to the IRA.  Those policies include:

  • the termination of noncompetitive leasing and impacts on pending leases;
  • how BLM will track oil and gas leasing in order to issue rights-of-way for renewable development projects;
  • updates to the leasing process, including the identification of parcels, and opportunities for public participation through the environmental review process;
  • direction for assessing parcels, which includes prioritizing parcels near existing development while avoiding parcels in other areas;
  • clarification on the process for reinstating terminated leases;
  • requirements for granting extensions of approved APDs; and
  • clarifying requirements for approving suspensions of operations and production.

A fact sheet containing links to each of the new IMs can be found here

BLM will be holding a one hour virtual information forum on these IMs this Friday, December 16, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST. 

Clients with onshore oil and gas operations on federal public lands, and those contemplating future renewable projects on federal public lands, are invited to register here to learn more about these new policies and participate in a question-and-answer session with BLM staff.  Registrants will have an opportunity to submit questions in advance of the webinar when registering.