Obama administration sells fewest Western drilling leases in 25 years

If leasing, permitting and drilling returned to 2007/2008 levels, as many as 30,000 jobs could be created over the next four years, and federal royalties could rise by $2 billion.

The American Petroleum Institute reports,

… While federal leasing numbers have gone up and down due to a range of economic and regulatory considerations through the years, at no time in the last 25 years has the number of new onshore federal oil and gas leases been lower than the number of new leases issued in 2009 and 2010 (BLM Oil & Gas Statistics, 2010)…

Click to read the report.

The API media release is below.

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Federal policies hamper western oil and natural gas development

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2012 – A host of new rules, policies and administrative actions unconducive to oil and natural gas development on federal lands has significantly slowed the rate of leasing, permitting and drilling in these areas since 2009, a new study released today says. This has cost jobs, energy production and revenue to our government.

“Federal lands policies are slowing the development of vitally needed energy,” said Kyle Isakower, API vice president of regulatory and economic policy. “This undermines America’s energy security and deprives the nation of a much needed spur to job creation and economic growth. Unfortunately, not only is the administration slowing domestic oil and gas development, but it has now also blocked the Keystone XL pipeline, which promised to give us more access to increased secure supplies of Canadian oil while also generating tens of thousands of American jobs.”

The study – Employment, Government Revenue, and Energy Security Impacts of Current Federal Lands Policy in the Western U.S. – said new Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases were down 44 percent in 2009/2010 compared with 2007/2008. Permits and new wells drilled were both down 39 percent. The study noted that the trend continued in 2011. While the economic downturn in 2007 was a factor in the decline, the study said, the decline in leasing, permitting and drilling was nearly twice as great on federal as compared with non-federal lands. The study also said a greater decline occurred in 2009/2010 compared with other recessionary periods.

“If we could simply return leasing, permitting and drilling to where they were in 2007/2008, our economy could benefit enormously,” said Isakower. If that were to happen, the study said, as many as 30,000 jobs could be created throughout the economy over the next four years, and federal royalties could rise by $2 billion.

EIS Solutions in Grand Junction, Colorado, prepared the study for API.

API represents more than 490 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

One thought on “Obama administration sells fewest Western drilling leases in 25 years”

  1. The federal government should not own ANY land. All federal land (besides national parks) is under the control of BLM and use thereby is under the control of their RULES, not laws. The states should demand that the federal government turn that land back over to them and let them administer it as they see fit. The employees could then be known as NVBLM employees or TXBLM employees etc. or whatever the hell name the states want to call it. Nothing but the federal burecratic jobs in washington would be eliminated and those would be moved to the several states.

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