header graphic

EWG INVESTIGATION

 

1: Executive Summary

2: About Oil/Gas Leases

3: Oil & Gas Impacts

4: Bush Admin Rollbacks

5: The Spin on Drilling

6: Hotspot: Roan Plateau, CO

7: Hotspot: Otero Mesa, NM

8: Hotspot: Rocky Mtn Front, MT

9: Hotspot: Powder River Basin, WY

10: Hotspot: Book Cliffs, UT

11: Oil, Gas, Political Cash

12: EWG Recommendations

13: Methodology

Printer-Friendly Version

Credits


MAPS

 

Atlas of Active Leases

Regional Summaries


VIEW STATE SUMMARIES


FIND A COMPANY

 

Search for a Lease Holder

 

 

 






 

The Western United States

State Summary | Lands Leased | Maps | Land Protection | Lease Holders

Lands leased in 12 Western States

The federal government has offered 229.0 million acres of public and private land in 12 Western States for oil and gas drilling, according to an EWG analysis of land use records maintained by the federal government from 1982 to the present. This acreage represents the sum of total land actively leased in 1982 and land newly offered from 1982 through 2004.

For total lands held under lease, the top three states in the nation are Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado. The top three companies holding leases in the nation are Yates Petroleum Corp, Encana Oil & Gas Inc, and Tom Brown Inc.

Despite the vast offering of lands offered to the oil and gas industry across the West, government studies show that the U.S. remains increasingly and inevitably dependent on foreign energy, a trend that will not change until we invest in energy efficient and homegrown renewable power. Tables below detail oil and gas industry holdings in 12 Western States.

Type of Land Public
Land
(acres)
Private
Land
(acres)
Total
Land
(acres)
Total Land Area (12 Western States): N/A N/A 754,963,423
Public land open for leasing: 301,602,798 N/A 301,602,798
Leased or offered since 1982: 181,426,902 47,545,641 228,972,544
 Leased in 1982: 117,213,014 37,479,435 154,692,449
 Offered since 1982: 64,213,889 10,066,206 74,280,094
Produced oil or gas since 1982: 23,550,973 6,674,689 30,225,664
Currently leased: 24,656,639 10,289,853 34,946,492
Currently producing oil or gas: 7,996,421 3,106,474 11,102,895
Lessees on currently active leases: 5,717 5,076 8,604

NOTE:"Public land open for leasing" reflects the total area of federal public land in 12 western states less lands that are nearly always restricted from leasing and drilling regardless of administration policies or local land use plans — National Parks, Wilderness, National Monuments, Forest Service Recreation Areas, Military Reservation, National Fish and Wildlife Refuges, and National Recreation Areas.

Source: EWG analysis of leasing and drilling records in 12 western states, contained in the Bureau of Land Management's Land and Mineral Records 2000 database, acquired by EWG May 15 2004.

Breakdown of active leases by state

State Number of
Lease
Holders
Number of
Leases
Acres Currently
Leased
Wyoming 3,618   19,867   13,953,982  
New Mexico 2,430   9,143   5,437,977  
Colorado 1,342   5,564   4,607,692  
Montana 1,116   4,126   4,210,799  
Utah 871   3,662   3,765,316  
Nevada 214   1,185   2,046,377  
Washington 9   245   366,924  
California 276   663   299,836  
Arizona 8   62   105,020  
South Dakota 96   143   101,765  
Oregon 7   21   43,000  
Idaho 2   4   5,015  
The United States 8,604   44,690   34,946,492  

Source: EWG analysis of leasing and drilling records in 12 western states, contained in the Bureau of Land Management's Land and Mineral Records 2000 database, acquired by EWG May 15 2004.