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Public Land - Development of Oil and Gas on Federal Land


The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in charge of administering and managing approximately 245 million surface acres as well as 700 million subsurface acres of mineral estates. The BLM also has authority to administer the leasing of acreage owned by other federal agencies for oil and gas development. According to the BLM website, “inventories show that 279 million acres of federal land have oil & gas potential. Of these, over 145 million are closed to leasing and another 20 million are inaccessible because surface occupancy or ground disturbance is prohibited.”

As for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), it is responsible for the offshore development and leasing of federal oil, gas, and mineral resources. More information on the BOEM’s oil and gas leasing program is available here.

This guide is intended to present a collection of legal resources relating to the development of federal public land. While the Center for Agriculture and Shale Law makes every effort to maintain and update the content furnished in this guide, no warranty or other guarantee is made regarding the timeliness or accuracy of any information provided.

Author - Jessica Deyoe

For more information, please contact the Guide Author, Jessica Deyoe,  Research Assistant  at The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law.  

Phone: (814) 865-4290


The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law

Penn State Law

The Pennsylvania State University

329 Innovation Blvd., Suite 118

University Park, PA 16803

Phone: (814) 865-4290

Fax: (814) 865-3851