by Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current Argus

July 24, 2023

Fees and rates paid by oil and gas companies that use public lands in New Mexico and across the U.S. to drill for fossil fuels could be raised by the federal government via a rule proposed Thursday.

The proposal by the Bureau of Land Management sought to codify higher royalty and rental rates operators pay to drill on federal land, drawing a mixed reaction from environmental groups in New Mexico where most fossil fuel development occurs on public land.

The Bureau of Land Management proposed Thursday to revise its oil and gas leasing system, raising royalty rates for federal land leases to 16.67 percent from the previous rate of 12.5 percent, and establishing the new rate as the minimum after Aug. 16, 2032.

The BLM also sought to raise bonding requirements to $150,000 for single leases and $500,000 for leases statewide, money paid by operators and used by the government to clean up wells should they be abandoned.

Read more at the Carlsbad Current Argus