The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

BLM finalizes e-filing of drilling permit applications


January 5, 2017 | View PDF

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) took a significant step today in its multi-year effort to improve the efficiency and transparency of the permitting process for oil and gas drilling. With the final revision to Onshore Order 1, the agency is making online filing the default method of filing Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) and Notices of Staking, moving away from paper applications.

Since the BLM began developing the new online permitting system, almost 500 operators representing 70 different companies have provided valuable feedback and taken part in training. To date, about 200 permits have been reviewed and approved in the system.

“Today’s rule concludes another key element of our oil and gas modernization program by moving BLM away from the hardcopy application process,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “This Administration has updated a number of business processes in the oil and gas program that will result in a better and more efficient experience.”

The shift toward e-filing is part of an ongoing effort by the BLM to increase efficiency and transparency of the drilling permit review and approval process.

The current average processing time for permits is 220 days; the BLM estimates that with the new rule, 90 percent of permits will be processed within 115 days. In addition, the new system increases transparency by allowing operators to see where their application is in the approval process. By making e-filing the default means of submittal, the new rule maximizes the opportunities presented by the new permit processing system.

Recognizing that e-filing may not always be possible, the rule allows operators to request a waiver from the e-filing requirement in certain circumstances.


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