U.S. Independent Oil, Gas Producers: Permitting Program Will Help Restore Certainty, Efficiency to Federal Permitting Process

U.S. Independent Oil, Gas Producers: Permitting Program Will Help Restore Certainty, Efficiency to Federal Permitting Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representing the independent producers that develop 90 percent of America’s oil and natural gas wells, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Political Affairs Dan Naatz issued the following statement on today’s secretarial order aimed at improving America’s onshore energy program:

“IPAA welcomes today’s secretarial order, which will restore certainty and efficiency to the federal permitting process. Long-term business planning and certainty is a critical component to the leasing process for oil and natural gas producers. Reinstating quarterly lease sales is vital as independent producers consider future American energy opportunities on federal lands. Another way to help with the Interior Department’s permitting backlog is to use the dedicated funds made available by the bipartisan pilot project to streamline permitting to hire more staff equipped to process drilling permits in an efficient, timely fashion. The longer a company’s applications for permits to drill go ignored, the more American consumers and businesses lose out on reliable, affordable U.S. energy and the royalty payments generated from oil and natural gas production on federal lands.

“Just last week, IPAA President Barry Russell met with Secretary Zinke and highlighted many of the issues that the Secretary addressed today through his Secretarial Order. In addition to enforcing the sections of the Minerals Leasing Act that require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to hold quarterly lease sales and keep permitting processing times to under 30 days, IPAA looks forward to working with the Secretary to highlight tools that could be helpful in expediting the permitting process, such as utilizing categorical exclusions as well as Memorandums of Understanding and Memorandums of Agreement.”

One of IPAA’s highest priorities of 2014 was to ensure the Congressional reauthorization of the BLM pilot office program, which was a bipartisan initiative designed to streamline agency operations and help reduce the backlog of oil and gas permit applications on federal lands. Language reauthorizing the BLM pilot office program was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.

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Neal Kirby