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March 15, 2012

Fossil fuel production on federal lands at 9 year low

March 15, 2012
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The Energy Information Administration (EIA) just released its report, Sales of Fossil Fuels Produced on Federal and Indian Lands, FY 2003 Through FY 2011.[i] This report shows that total fossil fuel production on federal lands is falling, natural gas production on federal lands is falling, and oil production on federal land fell in 2011 ending two years of increase. Specifically the new EIA report shows:

  • Fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas) production on Federal and Indian lands is the lowest in the 9 years EIA reports data and is 6 percent less than in fiscal year 2010.
  • Crude oil and lease condensate production on Federal and Indian lands is 13 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.
  • Natural gas production on Federal and Indian lands is the lowest in the 9 years that EIA reports data and is 10 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.
  • Natural gas plant liquids production on Federal and Indian lands is 3 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.
  • Coal production on Federal and Indian lands is the lowest in the 9 years of data that EIA reported and is 2 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.

See also–The Myth that the U.S. Only Has 2% of the World’s Oil

Fossil Fuel Production on Federal Lands

Crude oil production on Federal and Indian lands decreased 13 percent from 739 million barrels in fiscal year 2010 to 646 million barrels in fiscal year 2011. Production of crude oil on Federal lands is dominated by offshore production, which fell by 17 percent in fiscal year 2011, mostly notably due to government actions taken following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. These actions include a moratorium on offshore drilling by the Obama Administration, followed by a permit moratorium. Only recently has the Obama Administration leased any federal land offshore to oil and gas drilling.

 

Natural gas production on Federal and Indian lands decreased every year since fiscal year 2003, the earliest fiscal year EIA reported data. In fiscal year 2011, natural gas production on federal and Indian lands was 4,859 billion cubic feet, 10 percent less than in fiscal year 2010, and 31 percent less than in fiscal year 2003. Offshore natural gas production volumes have been on a consistent downward trend for the last 9 years, and are 63 percent less in fiscal year 2011 than in fiscal year 2003.

Natural gas plant liquids production on Federal and Indian lands peaked in fiscal year 2010 at 115 million barrels and declined to 111 million barrels in fiscal 2011, down 3 percent.

Coal production on Federal and Indian lands peaked at 509 million short tons in fiscal year 2008 and decreased each year since then. In fiscal year 2011, coal production on Federal and Indian lands was 470 million short tons, down 2 percent from fiscal year 2010 production and 8 percent from the peak in fiscal 2008.

 

Source: Energy Information Administration, Sales of Fossil Fuels Produced on Federal and Indian Lands, FY 2003 Through FY 2011, March 2012, http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/federallands/pdf/eia-federallandsales.pdf

Department of Interior Data

EIA received the data from the Office of Natural Resource Revenues (ONRR) in the Department of Interior. The data contain production on federal and Indian lands, both onshore and offshore.  They include production volumes for which royalties were paid and production volumes in which no royalties were paid due to lease provisions and/or production transferred to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under the Royalty-in-Kind programs. According to ONRR, the data can change, but according to EIA, the big picture story will remain.

Conclusion

The big picture is clear that government policies undertaken by the Obama Administration have produced a significant decline in offshore oil production on federal lands in fiscal year 2011. That is certainly not a way to increase domestic production of oil and keep oil and thus gasoline prices in check.



[i] Energy Information Administration, Sales of Fossil Fuels Produced on Federal and Indian Lands, FY 2003 Through FY 2011, March 2012, http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/federallands/pdf/eia-federallandsales.pdf


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