PDF _ RS22928 - Oil Development of Federal Lands and the Outer Continental Shelf
6-Aug-2008; Marc Humphries; 6 p.

Update: Previous Reports:
August 6, 2008

Abstract: Over the past year, crude oil prices have nearly doubled, reaching record levels. Proposals before Congress include a number of legislative initiatives to increase domestic oil production. These proposals have fallen into two broad categories: (1) to open areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) which are currently under leasing moratoria; and (2) to encourage companies holding oil and gas leases to diligently develop leases to bring them into production. Two bills were introduced that would have denied new leases to those lessees who were not developing their leases or producing oil or gas (H.R. 6251 and H.R. 6515). The two bills, including similar provisions, were introduced under suspension of the rules in the House and both failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds support. Comparable legislation has been introduced in the Senate (S. 3239).

There are also several proposals to lift the congressional OCS moratoria (e.g., H.R. 6418, H.R. 6529, and S. 3126, S. 3202), including an amendment to the FY2009 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriation bill. Proponents of these initiatives argue that promising areas should be open for exploration to maximize domestic oil production as quickly as possible.

However, there are long lead times and often numerous considerations and constraints in getting federal oil and gas leases from the lease sale into production. Many leases never get explored before their primary lease term expires.

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Topics: Energy, Natural Resources, Public Lands

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