With smallest acreage in history, U.S. government nets record oil and gas onshore revenues of $1.1 billion

Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year for onshore oil and gas revenues on public lands due in large part to more streamlined permitting timelines, the DOI said in a recent press release.

Statistics released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) showed the U.S. hit all-time highs for federal oil production on federal land, 214,144,945 barrels produced onshore, with the smallest footprint of acreage under lease, 25,552,475 acres since BLM started collecting comparable data in FY 1985, showing 120,686,611 acres at that time. Lease sales netted a record $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales held in FY 2018, DOI said.

Drilling, Revenues from Federal Onshore Lands in an Upswing: 1,919 wells Spud in FY ’18 is 1,000 Higher than FY 2016 - Oil & Gas 360

Source: U.S. Department of Interior

Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury, state budgets and support public education, infrastructure improvements, and other state-determined priorities.

Private investment on federal lands measured in drilling permits are up 55 percent since 2016, from 2,184 in FY 2016 to 3,388 in FY 2018.

Streamlining the permitting process – time to obtain a permit to drill shrinks by 30% from Obama era

In FY 2018, BLM cut its average time to process an APD by more than 30 percent in comparison fiscal year 2017. In 2016, it took an average of 257 days to process a permit, while in 2018 the time to permit was an average of 176 days. Automated processes were implemented to increase the efficiency and transparency of the APD review and approval process, providing greater regulatory certainty for stakeholders. With these improvements, BLM remains dedicated to further reducing these permitting times.

Along with reduced drilling times and an increase in the total number of APDs approved, FY 2018 saw an increase in the number of wells spudded. In FY 2018, 1,919 wells were spudded, an increase of over 1,000 wells and a 127 percent increase compared to FY 2016 (847 spudded wells).

Resurgence of federal lands

The number of producing leases continued to increase steadily to 24,028 in 2018 — the highest level since 2008. BLM received bids on 1,488,300 acres in FY 2018, marking the largest number of acreage receiving bids in more than ten years and an increase of 87 percent from 792,823 acres receiving bids in 2017.

Numbers for new acres leased and new leases issued during the year have continued to increase, up 117 percent for new acres leased during the year and up 156 percent for new leases issued since FY 2016. BLM leased 1,253,369 acres in FY 2018 up from 1,114,218 leased acres in FY 2017 and 577,317 leased acres in FY 2016. New leases issued rose to 1,333 in FY 2018 compared to 520 new leases issued in FY 2016.

New Mexico and Wyoming federal land led the pack

  • Account for two-thirds of APDs handled by the BLM;
  • Account for nearly two-thirds of all new well activity (spuds) in the BLM;
  • Remain largest leasing states accounting for more than half of the leases in effect; and
  • Finished 2018 as the top two states for acres under lease and producing leases.

The BLM data for onshore wells on Federal land is available here.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land and 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017 and supported more than 468,000 jobs.



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