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Decisions and Developing Trends in BLM Regulations Affecting Oil and Gas Filings

Ted J. Gengler, Proceedings of 26th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1980)

Though many practitioners and others involved in federal oil and gas leasing are familiar with problems in this area, it seems probable that most leases are applied for, and are issued, without any significant problems. However, this particular topic was chosen because many people familiar with this area were astonished by what were perceived as trends in certain areas of the leasing processthose trends being the various directions taken by the Department of the Interior1 to deny issuance of leases, or cancel issued leases, for minor and insubstantial reasons.

In undertaking the preliminary research for this paper, then, it became apparent that the most concern was directed at certain areas of the noncompetitive2 leasing [792] process, particularly the tendency of the Department of the Interior to deny priority for leases because the application form was deemed to be not fully executed. Other areas of particular concern were the use of an agent or attorney-in-fact to prepare and submit lease applications, and, of growing importance, problems associated with disclosure of persons other than the lease applicant, who have, or might have, an interest in the lease when issuedthe sole-party-in-interest area. Some consideration was also initially given to various other areas, particularly protection given by the bona fide purchaser protections which are a part of the Act.