In 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) achieved unprecedented success in revenues from onshore oil and gas lease sales and production, according to recently released data.
The agency attributed this accomplishment to streamlined permitting processes, showcasing the U.S. production of over 214 million barrels of oil on federally managed public lands.
Notably, this was achieved with the smallest acreage footprint of leases since 1985.
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Efficiency Gains and Production Numbers
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt emphasized the marvel of technology and innovation, showcasing how production numbers reached unprecedented levels despite having the fewest acres under lease in almost four decades.
Bernhardt praised President Trump for ensuring that the energy renaissance includes federal lands, delivering high-paying jobs and low-cost fuel.
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Streamlined Permitting Processes and Development
BLM highlighted a 30% reduction in the average time to process Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) between 2017 and 2018.
The automated processes implemented during this period increased efficiency and transparency, providing greater regulatory certainty for stakeholders.
This improvement led to increased development, with 1,919 wells spudded in 2018, a significant increase from 2016.
Regional Contributions and Lease Sales
New Mexico and Wyoming played a significant role, accounting for two-thirds of permits processed by BLM and two-thirds of all new well activity.
These states represent over half of the leases in effect, providing the most acreage under lease and production.
Additionally, twenty-eight oil and gas lease sales generated over $1.1 billion in leasing revenue, with substantial returns to individual states, including nearly half a billion dollars to New Mexico alone.
Impacts on Jobs and Economy
BLM lands and sub-surface mineral estate development were pivotal in supporting the economy.
In Fiscal Year 2017, they generated $96 billion in goods and services, supporting 468,000 jobs.
The total oil and natural gas royalty figures for 2017, which include leasing revenue and royalty revenues, exceeded $6 billion.
The success of BLM in onshore oil and gas revenues reflects the positive impact of streamlined processes and a focus on efficient resource development on federally managed public lands.