Actions Needed To Increase Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development

Gao ID: EMD-81-40 February 11, 1981

The use of federal lands for fossil fuels exploration has become an important issue. Managing these lands involves difficult trade-offs between the often conflicting issues of development, conservation, and environmental protection. An examination was performed on how the exploration and development of oil and gas from federal lands could be accelerated.

GAO found that the use of federal lands for fossil fuels exploration and development is hampered by: (1) the unavailability for leasing of prospectively valuable federal oil and gas lands; (2) the imposition of stipulations on leases which restrict exploration and development; and (3) lengthy delays in the approval of federal leases and drilling permits. GAO determined that the first two of these issues are more significant due to the indefinite duration of actions which have closed lands, the severity of stipulations on leases, the large acreages involved, and their substantial oil and gas potential.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Michael Gryszkowiec Team: General Accounting Office: Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division Phone: (202) 275-7756

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