According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 60% of federal lands are not available for oil exploration as are 41% of lands for natural gas exploration. BLM analyst Richard Watson explained the process the agency used to reach these conclusions in a presentation yesterday at the ESRI Users Conference. In addition, 30% of lands have additional stipulations beyond the standard restrictions. As a result, only about 8% of the potential oil resources on federal lands are actually available to be found and developed.
The results were released some time ago as part of the EPCA Phase III inventory that is available at www.blm.gov.
Watson emphasized this study was purely an inventory with no recommendations, despite claims by both proponents and opponents of drilling.