Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023
    No Federal Oil and Gas Lease Sales in Montana This Year

    Montana, which produces significantly less oil from federal land compared to neighboring states Wyoming and North Dakota, will not see any federal oil and gas lease sales this year. The Department of Interior reports that Montana’s oil production from federal land is approximately one-tenth that of Wyoming and North Dakota.

    Under President Joe Biden’s regulatory reforms, federal leases are now offered through competitive bidding. This marks the first full year of federal leases being offered under the new rules. The reforms also include increasing royalty payments and cleanup bonds.

    There were concerns within the fossil fuel industry that the tougher leasing standards would discourage interest in low-production states like Montana. However, the decision to not hold federal oil and gas lease sales in Montana this year could be seen as a reflection of the lower oil production levels in the state.

    Montana’s oil production from federal land may not be as robust as its neighboring states, but the state still plays a role in the energy sector. It is important to note that the absence of federal lease sales this year does not mean all oil and gas activities in Montana will halt. Private leasing and existing operations will continue as usual.

    This decision by the Department of Interior to forgo federal lease sales in Montana this year aligns with President Biden’s stated goal of prioritizing the transition to clean energy and addressing climate change. It remains to be seen how this shift in leasing practices will impact the energy landscape in Montana.

    – U.S. Department of Interior