Report: Interior Department Impeding Oil and Gas Production
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
July 1, 2014 3:41 pm
A federal watchdog on Tuesday faulted the Department of Interior for delays in permitting for oil and gas extraction on federal land.
DOI’s inspector general knocked insufficient review processes that “impede productivity” in a report released on Tuesday. The delays are reducing oil production and federal royalty payments, the report noted.
The Obama administration has come under fire from critics who say that it restricts oil and gas exploration on federal land.
While the IG’s report noted that energy companies share some of the blame, it identified a number of improvements” in DOI’s review process “that would expedite the review process and still maintain quality.”
We found that neither BLM nor the operator can predict when the permit will be approved. Target dates for completion of individual APDs are rarely set and enforced, and consequently, the review may continue indefinitely. The process at most field offices does not have sufficient supervision to ensure timely completion. BLM also does not have a results-oriented performance goal to address processing times.
Processing delays have occurred because, until recently, improving the APD process has not been a high priority for DOI. Other contributing factors are resource challenges and an inadequate oil and gas database for monitoring performance at the field office and national program levels. Operators also bear responsibility by often failing to provide complete, necessary information.
Long review times create uncertainties in the APD process for both industry and BLM. This adversely affects developing the Nation’s domestic energy resources. Specifically, the Federal Government and Indian mineral owners risk losing royalties from delayed oil and gas production. Industry officials informed us that delays cause some wells not to be drilled, resulting in additional lost production and royalties.http://freebeacon.com/issues/report-interior-department-impeding-oil-and-gas-production/