Tuesday, April 12, 2016

US oil, gas leasing continues fall, unused leases hit high

The number of oil and natural gas leases on US and tribal lands continued to fall in fiscal 2015, while the number of approved yet unused drilling permits reaching a record high, Bureau of Land Management data showed Monday. The data, updated to include statistics through fiscal 2015, seems to back up frequent arguments from US producers that the Obama administration is doing little to promote drilling on federal lands amid the ongoing shale renaissance. But it also bolsters claims often made by administration that these same producers are often letting leases on federal lands remain idle or simply not interested in drilling on lands the government has opened for oil and gas development. Production from federal and tribal onshore leases accounted for 7% of total US oil production and 11% of total US natural gas production in fiscal 2015, BLM said. In fiscal 2015 industry bid on just 15% of the over 4 million acres of federal land BLM offered for lease and continued to produce on only 40% of the federal acres currently under lease, the agency said in a statement. More precisely, the total number of producing leases on federal lands has fallen from 14.54 million in fiscal 2008 to 12.76 million in fiscal 2015 while the total number of wells spud each year on federal lands has fallen from 5,044 in fiscal 2008 to 1,621 in fiscal 2015. And, since fiscal 2008, the total number of leases in effect has fallen steadily each year, down nearly 20% from 54,359 leases to 44,213 leases in fiscal 2015, the BLM data shows. Over that eight-year period, the total number of federal and tribal acres leased has also fallen by nearly 32%, from 47.24 million acres in fiscal 2008 to 32.19 million acres in fiscal 2015...more

No comments: