September 24th is National Public Lands Day and, and in honor of the occasion, Essentra Pipe Protection Technologies is providing some information about governmental regulations regarding the use of public lands for oil and gas drilling operations; as well as strategies that the oil and gas industry use to help protect and preserve the environment. By complying with regulations and using high-quality octg pipe protection products like drill pipe protectors, oil and gas companies work together with the government to safeguard the environment and to preserve natural resources as well as the public lands that house them.
The Role of the Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the U.S. governmental agency that regulates the development, exploration, and production of oil on public lands. Along with the Forest Service, the BLM is responsible for drawing up land management and resource development plans every 10 to 15 years. The plans include steps that will be taken to protect wildlife and other natural resources, and they identify areas that are appropriate for oil and gas exploration. Consequently, BLM land use plans form the basis for decisions regarding oil and gas exploration and drilling on public lands.
The Leasing Process
Oil and gas companies that wish to drill on public lands must first nominate a site. If the BLM, or other federal agency, approves the land for development, oil and gas companies can submit bids to purchase a lease on the land. The BLM, or another land management agency responsible for the lease, will sell it to the highest bidder. Ten years is the standard lease period. Currently, only ten percent of the land managed by the BLM is leased for oil and gas exploration, and only a very small portion of a leased site is used for surface drilling operations.
Before any development can begin, the lease holder is required to obtain a range of permits from federal and state authorities. These permits are designed to protect the environment and human health, and they may regulate use of local roads, site conditions for drilling and operating the well, stream crossing, discharge of sediments and toxic substances, erosion control, and the protection of endangered species.
Restrictions On Access
Restrictions on access to the public lands where oil and gas drilling take place are intended to protect human health and safety, and to provide as much access as possible to recreationists and hunters. In general, restrictions are limited to the area around the drilling site and are in place only while the site is actually in use. Often a BLM lease will allow drilling activity only for a certain period of time each year.
Essentra Pipe Protection Technologies’ Role in Preserving Public Lands
The integrity of the drill pipe that draws oil from an oilfield is crucial for protecting the environment. Essentra’s drill pipe protectors in plastic and steel, cover the entire thread form and seal area, and they protect the pipes from extreme temperatures and any possible sources of corrosion, thus preventing leaks of toxic substances into the land or ground water. Recognized as an industry leader by the American Petroleum Industry (API), Essentra is dedicated to following API regulation standards and to preserving public land. For the best in pipe protection, shop our products online, or connect with one of our service experts for more information on drill pipe protectors.