Democrats’ Bogus Lease Claims in ‘Use It or Lose It’ Proposal Stymie Real Energy Security

2008-08-15 08:00:00

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 /EMWNews/ -- Today the Institute for

Energy Research released a chart that debunks the myths surrounding the

development of federal leases. As Russia threatens Europe's oil pipeline in

Georgia and Iran threatens to cutoff Middle East oil at the Strait of

Hormuz, America's energy and economic security depend on understanding the

reality of domestic energy development, says Institute for Energy Research

President Tom Pyle.

    Democrats, though, are blocking access to US energy resources with

phony claims that oil companies are just sitting on 68 million acres of

untapped leases and don't require access to new areas, he says. To strike

home that message, they want oil companies to lose leases that are

undeveloped within 10 years.

    Pyle points out: "The reality of energy production is that it is much

like hunting for a needle in a haystack. For every 60 leases permitted, you

get at best one potential well. Oil companies aren't just sitting on leased

land that could be in production. Many of those permits are in various

stages of development from the research stage to the environmental

assessment stage to production. In the best case scenario, with all 68

million acres, the maximum acreage actually likely to produce oil is


    "This is why it is critical that the U.S. open more of our resources to

drilling, so the best and most economically feasible fields can be

developed. The notion that oil companies are just sitting on oil leases is

a myth." Pyle added. "At a time of high oil and gasoline prices and

increased energy insecurity, politicians need to become fully educated

about the realities of energy development, not engage in sound bite

campaigns on bogus claims about them."

    Fact: Lease agreements already contain federal requirements that leased

land be used in a timely manner. The 1992 Comprehensive Energy Policy Act

requires energy companies to comply with lease provisions, and explore

expeditiously, or risk forfeiture of the lease.

    Fact: Oil exploration is a long, complex, arduous, risky and expensive

process. It starts with a proposal about what type of geologic structures

could potentially hold this vital resource. Based on that idea, companies

purchase leases: agreements that allow them to test their ideas, and

hopefully find and produce oil and gas from leased properties.

    Fact: 60 leases translates into: 50 leases with potential for oil and

gas, 25 actual prospects, and only 11 drillable prospects and ultimately

only 1 actual well that may produce oil or gas. If we are talking about 68

million acres of inactive leased land that means at best we have 113,000

potential wells.

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