BLM seeks public comment on planned oil, gas lease sales

Deadline for public comment is Sept. 30

The Bureau of Land Management proposes to offer 24 parcels, totaling nearly 13,420 acres, at the Dec. 10 quarterly oil and gas lease sale. The parcels are located on BLM-managed lands in the Canyon Country, Color Country and Green River districts.

“We encourage public involvement early in this review process; it is an integral part of our evaluation of the proposed lease parcels,” said Deputy State Director for Lands and Minerals Kent Hoffman. “Comments should identify issues and concerns specific to the parcels being considered.”

Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury and state budgets, and support public education, infrastructure improvements and other state-determined priorities, according to a press release from the agency. Forty- eight percent of lease sale revenue goes to the state while the remainder is transferred to the U.S. Treasury.

The state also receives half of the revenue from royalties if oil and gas is developed on the lease, according to the BLM.

“Responsible energy development includes thoughtful consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as the potential resource impacts of the decision to lease,” said a statement in the press release. An additional environmental review will take place at the Application for Permit to Drill stage, where additional site-specific conditions of approval can be placed on the permit, in addition to the lease stipulations, according to the BLM.

By statute, the BLM is required to offer quarterly oil and gas lease sales of available federal lands. BLM state offices conduct lease sales quarterly when parcels are available for lease. These lease sales represent parcels that cleared environmental review and public comment. The BLM issues both competitive and non-competitive leases for a 10-year period. The leases are a contract to explore and develop any potential oil and gas. The lease may be extended if the production is established on the lease, otherwise the lease will expire after the primary term of 10 years.

The BLM generated a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

Comments on the environmental documents must be submitted electronically via the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA Register (ePlanning) at https://bit.ly/2GAt25h.

Comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2019. Any comments received by other methods will not be accepted. Links to the environmental documents, lists and maps of the parcels, and attached stipulations are online at https://bit.ly/2GAt25h.

“Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifying information— may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so,” said a statement from the BLM.