The Bureau of Land Management is delaying for two months the effective date of a rule that will require online filing of permits for oil and gas drilling.  The delay results from a White House memorandum issued on January 20, instructing federal agencies to temporarily postpone for 60 days any regulation that had been published in the Federal Register, but has not yet taken effect.  The BLM had announced this final rule in December, and it was scheduled to take effect late last week.

The rule, which updates Onshore Order 1 - Approval of Operations - is designed to improve the efficiency and transparency of the permitting process for oil and gas drilling, according to BLM.  Onshore Order 1 previously stated that an operator must file an APD or any other required documents in the BLM field office having jurisdiction over the lands described in the application, but allowed for e-filing of such documents as an alternative.  The revision to Onshore Order 1 makes e-filing the required method of submission subject to limited exceptions.  The BLM made this change to improve the efficiency and transparency of the Application for Permit to Drill (APD) and Notice of Staking (NOS) processes.

The 60-day delay will enable the Trump administration to review the rule.

More information about Onshore Order 1 and the rulemaking process can be found at the following website:  https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=BLM-2016-004.