Jen, Joe… Is it 9,000 leases or 9,000 permits that oil companies are allegedly sitting on?

Guest “Do they really think we’re that stupid?” by David Middleton

This is the second sequel to Democrat Senators Demand That Oil Companies Increase Production. The first sequel dealt with Jen “Circle Back” Psaki’s blatantly false claim that “There are 9,000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently”. Now, Brandon, himself has tossed in another lie…

U.S. producers “have 9,000 permits to drill now — they can be drilling right now, yesterday last week, last year,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday. “They have 9,000 to drill onshore that are already approved. So let me be clear, let me be clear: they are not using them for production now.” The comments came a day after the American Petroleum Institute, the biggest U.S. oil lobby group, accused the administration of “misusing facts” when it comes to federal leasing data.


Do they not know the difference between a lease and a permit? Or do they just toss these words and numbers out, assuming no one will bother to check them out?

A mineral lease is the exclusive rights to the mineral resources under at tract of land or seafloor.

In exchange for predetermined compensation, this is a specific type of lease arrangement between an entity and a property owner. It grants the entity the rights to explore to determine if minerals are present and, also, to extract minerals, like iron, copper, oil, or even natural gas, from the leased property.

Mineral Lease, Law Dictionary

Federal mineral leases are awarded to the high bidders in competitive lease sales. Federal leases generally have 5 to 10 year primary terms. Leaseholders may then apply for permits to drill wells.

Once a leaseholder, operator, or designated agent identifies an oil and gas deposit on a Federal lease, they can file an application for permit to drill (APD). The BLM posts these APDs on its 30 Day Federal Public Posting Report Page. The BLM governs the APD process under Onshore Order #1 and its 2017 amendment, which is codified under 43 CFR §3160.


An approved APD is valid for two years or until the lease expires, whichever occurs first, but the BLM may grant a two-year extension to allow the operator more time to drill.



How did we get here from there?

Biden Reaffirms Call For Banning Oil And Natural Gas Production On Public Lands

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden once again said he would ban the production of oil and natural gas on public lands if elected during a debate in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night.

While Biden has been criticized by environmental activist groups for not having a bold enough plan on energy and climate, prohibiting production on federal lands has been a constant in his policy platform. His campaign website calls for “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.”


In the debate, Biden listed of a number of proposals aimed at the oil and natural gas industry.

“Number one, no more subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, no more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling, including offshore, no ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one,” Biden said.


Western Wire

In their typical Orwellian fashion, the phrase “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters” no longer appears on the campaign website.

Since, Brandon seemed serious about “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters”, oil companies with large lease positions on Federal lands in places like New Mexico and Wyoming began stockpiling drilling permits to ensure that they had sufficient inventory to continue drilling through at least the next 4 years.

Oil and Gas Companies File for Drilling Permits Ahead of Biden Inauguration
JANUARY 19, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to cease new drilling on federal lands has made oil and gas companies file for permits in the dwindling days of the Trump Administration, mostly in New Mexico and Wyoming, where much of the drilling on federal lands takes place. The applications accelerated during the fall before the election peaked in November, aided by speedier permitting approvals since President Trump took office. President-Elect Biden wants to end new drilling on those lands as part of his transition to renewable energy, with the goal of making the nation carbon neutral by 2050 and the generating sector carbon neutral by 2035, a full 10 years prior to California’s target, which is already causing supply problems in the state.

Despite oil producers slashing budgets, major companies have been acquiring enough permits to keep pumping through Biden’s upcoming term realizing that the nation will still need oil and gas for many years into the future. Under President Trump, crude production from federal and tribal lands and waters increased sharply, topping a billion barrels in 2019, which was almost a third higher than the last year of the Obama Administration.

Companies submitted more than 3,000 drilling permit applications in a three-month period that included the election. Department of Interior officials approved almost 1,400 drilling applications, which is the highest number of approvals for that amount of time during Trump’s four-year term. The government approved about 500 new drilling permits in September alone, more than double the same month in 2019. In 2020, the Trump administration issued over 4,700 drilling permits, which is comparable to approval numbers from early last decade when oil peaked over $100 a barrel, about twice the current price.

Processing times for completed applications to the Bureau of Land Management dropped from almost 140 days on average in the last year of Obama’s administration to 44 days in fiscal year 2019, which is still much slower than many state permitting processes. In 2020, some companies had permits awarded in a little over a month; other permits took longer but an average time is not yet available.


Institute for Energy Research

Oil companies lock in drilling, challenging Biden on climate
January 10, 2021

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years and undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to curb new drilling because of climate change, according to public records and industry analysts.

An Associated Press analysis of government data shows the permit stockpiling has centered on oil-rich federal lands in New Mexico and Wyoming. It accelerated during the fall as Biden was cementing his lead over President Donald Trump and peaked in December, aided by speedier permitting approvals since Trump took office.

The goal for companies is to lock in drilling rights on oil and gas leases on vast public lands where they make royalty payments on any resources extracted. Biden wants to end new drilling on those same lands as part of his overhaul of how Americans get energy, with the goal of making the nation carbon neutral by 2050.



Making it easier to drill was a centerpiece of Trump’s effort to boost American energy production in part by enticing companies onto lands and offshore areas run by the U.S. departments of Interior and Agriculture.

Under Trump, crude production from federal and tribal lands and waters increased sharply, topping a billion barrels in 2019. That was up by almost a third from the last year of the Obama administration.



To undo the late-term awarding of so many permits, a former senior Interior Department official said the Biden administration could be forced to pay millions of dollars to companies to get them to relinquish drilling rights. Such a scenario played out in pristine areas of Montana where officials spent decades trying to buy out companies with drilling leases near Glacier National Park.


Houston-based EOG Resources amassed the most permits this year — 1,024 — including 549 since September, according to AP’s analysis.

In total, EOG has about 2,500 federal permits approved or in progress. “If he (Biden) tries to impose some regulations on how new federal permits are issued, we certainly already have an inventory, a large inventory, of existing federal permits that will sustain activity for several years,” company CEO Lloyd Helms told a November investors conference.

Oklahoma-based Devon Energy collected the second-highest number this year. As the presidential campaign wore on this summer, Devon executives assured investors that the company was amassing permits. By October, Vice President David Harris said the company had enough “federal drilling permits in hand that essentially cover all of our desired activity over the next presidential term.”



These companies stockpiled four years worth of drilling permits. They may “have 9,000 permits.” However, they’re not “to drill now.” They applied for sufficient permits to maintain their drilling programs from 2021 through 2024… Because Brandon promised to shut down permitting.

Brandon appeared to be delivering on his campaign promise on his second day in the Oval Office.

Biden halts oil and gas leases, permits on US land and water
January 21, 2021

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration announced Thursday a 60-day suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for U.S. lands and waters, as officials moved quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment.

The suspension, part of a broad review of programs at the Department of Interior, went into effect immediately under an order signed Wednesday by Acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega. It follows Democratic President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to halt new drilling on federal lands and end the leasing of publicly owned energy reserves as part of his plan to address climate change.



The concern was so great that we were advised to file Suspension of Operations (SOO) applications for all of our leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

In reality, they did not halt new permits. They stripped the BLM and BSEE regional offices of permit approval authority during that 60-day period. Permit approval authority was limited to political hacks, “a small number of senior Interior officials — the secretary, deputy secretary, solicitor and several assistant secretaries”. The fact that the permit approval process didn’t even significantly slow down, from our perspective, indicated that the political hacks were approving whatever the professional regulators in the BSEE regional offices recommended.

The denial of drilling permits on existing leases had been the only roadblock that this miserable excuse for a maladministration hasn’t thrown in front of the US oil & gas industry…

Biden administration freezes new oil and gas drilling leases after court rules against key climate tool

By Ella Nilsen, CNN
Mon February 21, 2022

CNN —  

The Biden administration has once again put a pause on new leases and permits for federal oil and gas drilling after a judge blocked the administration from using a metric that estimates the societal cost of carbon emissions.

Earlier this month, US District Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana issued an injunction preventing the Biden administration from using what’s known as the “social cost of carbon” in decisions around oil and gas drilling on public land, or in rules governing fossil fuel emissions. The ruling has consequences for a range of Biden administration actions on climate change, but especially on the Interior Department’s federal oil and gas leasing program.

In an appeal filed by government attorneys on Saturday night, the Biden administration argued Cain’s injunction necessitated a pause on all projects where the government was using a social-cost-of-carbon analysis in its decision-making.

The appeal is the latest in a legal battle in the courts between several Republican-led states and the Biden administration over the social cost of carbon, a metric that uses economic models to put a value on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The idea is to quantify the economic harm caused by the climate crisis like sea level rise, more destructive hurricanes, extreme wildfire seasons and flooding.



Once again, it doesn’t appear that they are blocking permit approvals on existing Federal leases. It would be blatantly illegal for them to do so. However, Brandon has been waging war against the US oil & gas industry since day one…

Biden’s War on Affordable Energy | Opinion
ON 2/28/22

President Joe Biden‘s spokeswoman defends rising gasoline costs as the cost Americans must pay for standing up for our values. It is a neat trick to cite Russian sanctions for price increases that predate the sanctions. Democrats blame Russian strongman Vladimir Putin for Hillary Clinton‘s loss in 2016 and record-breaking inflation rates, but Hillary was a flawed candidate and Biden has long been waging war on affordable energy.

Biden’s first actions as president included re-entering the Paris Climate Accord, canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, halting a leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), issuing a 60-day halt on new oil and gas leases and drilling permits on federal lands and waters (which account for nearly 25% of U.S. production), directing federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel “subsidies,” imposing tougher regulations on oil and gas methane emissions (which were first promulgated under President Barack Obama and had been eased under President Donald Trump), and hiring SEC regulators to prepare climate and ESG disclosure mandates.

The Keystone pipeline’s cancelation denies America cheaper and environmentally safer access to Canadian oil for Gulf Coast refineries. Biden’s other policies will do even more damage, make America weaker and more dependent on foreign countries, and drive up energy prices. Even New Mexico’s Democratic governor criticized Biden’s suspension of oil and gas leases, asked for an exemption to protect her economy and education funding, and argued that shifting production elsewhere would increase carbon emissions.

Biden’s Interior Department has proposed policies to increase the cost of domestically produced energy. Secretary Debra Haaland has recommended that we hike the federal royalty rate for oil and gas drilling on federal lands, consider raising the bond payments companies must set aside for future cleanups, and focus leasing in areas close to existing oil and gas infrastructure. House Democrats would like to go even further and ban drilling in ANWR and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Biden extended his 60-day moratorium on new oil and gas leases indefinitely, until the administration could complete a comprehensive review on “climate change impacts.” Republican attorneys general successfully sued the administration to resume oil and gas lease sales, generating $192 million in bids for drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico. Though companies have stockpiled leases and drilling permits, anticipating a hostile Biden administration, such moves offer only temporary respite. Biden’s moves to limit drilling activity and increase the costs of that activity will especially harm the economies of states like New Mexico, Wyoming, North Dakota and Colorado.



If Brandon suddenly reversed his positions on the Keystone XL pipeline, ANWR and holding Federal lease sales, it wouldn’t suddenly cause the price of oil to drop. However, markets react to perceptions. Oil prices began to rise just after the November 2020 coup d’etat.

His war on fossil fuels has clearly contributed to that rise in oil prices.

  • Brandon and Obama halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for 5 of the past 9 years.
  • Brandon nullified ANWR leases awarded to oil companies at the end of the Trump administration.
  • Brandon not disrupted oil & gas leasing on Federal lands & waters.
  • Brandon has issued pledges and orders to halt permitting, while bragging about approving permits.

A year before Brandon idiotically cancelled the pipeline, TransCanada had already secured commitments from oil producers for 500,000 bbl/d for up to 20 years. This would have offset much of the crude oil we import from outside of North America.

While Brandon’s unlawful refusal to hold Gulf of Mexico lease sales, hasn’t significantly impacted US oil production yet, within a decade, it will likely lead to the US having to import an additional 1 million bbl/d of crude oil.

Would oil prices be lower today had Brandon not waged a war on the oil & gas industry? Probably… But there’s no way to know for sure.

Despite the efforts of Brandon and his ilk, US oil production will soon exceed pre-shamdemic production levels, largely due to the fact that most of our oil production comes from privately and state owned mineral leases.

That said, nothing short of Saudi Arabia dumping oil on the market like they did in early 2020, will cause oil prices to significantly decline.

Oil prices are rising fast. Saudi Arabia may not come to the rescue

By Julia Horowitz, CNN Business
Tue March 1, 2022

London CNN Business —  

A global hunt for spare barrels of crude is underway as sanctions slam Russia, the world’s second largest exporter, following its invasion of Ukraine.

But don’t expect Saudi Arabia to step in to fill the gap, at least for now.

What’s happening: The kingdom could help ease global oil prices, which have spiked to their highest level since 2014. Saudi Arabia has the capacity to raise production by 2 million barrels per day, according to Claudio Galimberti, senior vice president of analysis at Rystad Energy.

But Saudi Arabia’s government said Tuesday that it thinks the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries should stick to its plan of gradually increasing output. That means markets won’t get much relief as investors scramble to assess the impact of rising energy prices.



Saudi Arabia is already probably covering for OPEC nations who are having difficulty increasing production.

09 Feb 2022
OPEC+ falls further behind its oil output quotas, hampered by disruptions: Platts survey

Author Herman Wang Eklavya Gupte
Editor Wendy Wells

OPEC and its allies continue to underperform their increasingly lofty oil production targets, with the group falling a record 700,000 b/d short of its collective quotas in January, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey.


In all, 14 out of the 18 members with quotas underproduced their targets, pushing OPEC+ compliance to 120.8%, the highest since the group instituted record output cuts in spring 2020 to pull the oil market out of its pandemic crash, according to Platts calculations.


S&P Global Commodity Insights

This just in…

Oil Prices Tumble Double-Digits as UAE, Iraq Call for Higher OPEC Output
Commodities14 minutes ago (Mar 09, 2022 02:59PM ET)

By Barani Krishnan — President Joe Biden is beginning to hear from the UAE and Iraq some of the “music” he wants on OPEC oil production. 

But the offer of more barrels could also be conditional at some point and exact a political price that might scuttle world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran, jeopardizing the chance for even more output to cool a market at 14-year highs.

Crude prices were down double digits on Wednesday after the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, said in a widely-circulated statement to the media that the number two energy producer in the Gulf “favors oil production increases.”

The UAE “will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels,” Otaiba said, referring to the 13-member Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.


U.S. crude’s West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, benchmark settled down $15, or 13%, at $108.70. Like Brent, it was also WTI’s biggest one-day percentage slump since April 2020.


The UAE, like Saudi Arabia, is technically a U.S. ally that most recently received additional U.S. military ​defensive support to help them against Houthi threats from Yemen. 

But the UAE has also been calling on the United States to re-designate the Iran-backed militia on the Foreign Terror Organization list, which the White House appears unwilling to do. 

The demand that Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp stays off Washington’s terror list is one of those put by Iranian negotiators to the nuclear talks with world powers. The talks that have dragged on for months are at their final stages and could pave the way for the legitimate return of Iranian oil to the global export market, without the U.S. sanctions they have faced since 2018.

It is not known if the Emiratis will insist on their demand for the redesignation of the IRGC as a terror group as a condition for adding meaningfully to their oil supplies. 

Saudi Arabia, the de facto head of OPEC and OPEC+, has, meanwhile, remained uncooperative with the U.S. and other oil consuming countries throughout the Russia-Ukraine war.

On the hopes that the UAE initiative will lead to more output from OPEC, oil (WTI) “tumbled” all the way down to $108.70/bbl.

Volatile markets often exhibit wild swings in response to the news and current events. Most OPEC members were already struggling to increase their output. What happens to oil prices if UAE attaches an Iran poison pill? What happens if Saudi Arabia says no?

More breaking news!

There is no quick fix for oil prices. We need long-term solutions.

We … need to make sure we’re not galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short-term problems.”

The Brandon maladministration is actively avoiding seeking long term solutions to the energy “crisis”…

A Biden-Buttigieg Solution to the Energy Crisis?
By Duggan Flanakin
March 08, 2022

When asked about reversing Biden Administration energy policies that have left the U.S. increasingly dependent upon Russian oil and gas, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made it clear: “We … need to make sure we’re not galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short-term problems.”

Ah, “permanent solutions” for Biden-Buttigieg mean ending America’s “love affair” with fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Russia, China, and the rest of the world (even Germany and possibly the United Kingdom) are extracting and using increasing amounts of oil, gas, and coal. Now the “killer Bs” are working with the Russians to enable the U.S. once again to buy oil from Iran.



This may be beyond Secretary Pete’s comprehension level…

Access to affordable crude oil is not an “immediate short-term problem.” It’s way past time to be “galloping after permanent solutions”, or at least long term solutions. It’s a cold, hard fact that we will be dependent oil oil & gas for many decades to come. Every action this maladministration has taken over the past 14 months has undermined the long-term solutions that are actually under the purview of the US government.

Jen, Pete, Joe… Here’s the link to the Energy Information Administration…

via Watts Up With That?

March 9, 2022 at 04:05PM

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