BLM makes annual adjustment to Its mineral fee cost-recovery schedule

Effective October 1, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will implement an updated fee schedule to recover costs incurred in the processing of certain actions related to oil, gas, coal, and solid minerals activities on public lands. 

The updates to the existing fee schedule are based on inflation and follow the BLM cost recovery adjustment procedures established in 2005. The updated fee schedule appears in today’s Federal Register and is available here.

The updated fees cover costs for processing actions such as lease applications, name changes, corporate mergers, lease consolidations, and reinstatements. The BLM updates the fee schedule each year based on changes in the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product (IPD-GDP), as determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Since the IPD-GDP reflected only a small increase this year, 30 of the 48 fees subject to annual adjustment remain unchanged.

Of the remaining 18 fees, 15 will increase by only $5, one will increase by $0.01 per acre, and two will increase by $20 and $35, respectively.

Specifically, the fee for adjudicating 10 or fewer mineral patent claims will increase $20, from $1,535 to $1,555.  The fee for adjudicating more than 10 claims will increase $35, from $3,075 to $3,110.

The BLM is authorized to charge cost recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has also directed Federal agencies to recover costs for their services.  The BLM first implemented a cost recovery fee schedule for certain oil and gas activities in November 2005.  The 2005 Cost Recovery Rule expressly contemplated that the BLM would annually adjust the fee schedule to account for inflation.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.