Energy Analytics

Delaware Basin’s Evolving Federal Landscape


Since the Biden administration took office in January, the risk to oil and gas producers with assets on federally administered land has been a dynamic debate. On his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order temporarily banning new leasing and permit approvals on public land for a 60-day period while questions around climate impacts were addressed.

Nearly a month ago when the moratorium came to a close, the Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would resume processing new permits on existing federal leases, but new lease sales would continue to be withheld as the agency furthers a formal review of the program. If the BLM were to indefinitely freeze new leasing, oil and gas reserves under unleased federal land or leases that are not yet held by production (HBP) are at risk of becoming stranded (Figure 1).

Enverus quantified the portion of remaining drilling locations in the Delaware Basin exposed to federal land risk and contrasted with the impact previously implied by a potential complete ban on new drilling (Figure 2). A drilling ban would profoundly impact the play’s inventory life by inhibiting access to 46% of remaining locations in the Delaware. The current political landscape, however, indicates a much lower inventory risk — only 7% of Delaware inventory resides on BLM-administered land that is unleased or on leases classified as not HBP (more severe case). Moving leases that are not yet producing but show signs of near-term activity as indicated by the presence of permits, drilled or completed wells to the HBP bucket (less severe case), the portion of Delaware inventory at risk drops to 5%.

FIGURE 1 | Federal Land and BLM Leases Across New Mexico Delaware Basin

FIGURE 2 | Portion of Delaware Basin Inventory at Risk in Various Federal Land Policy Scenarios



Energy’s most trusted SaaS platform — creating intelligent connections that uncover insights and opportunities to deliver extraordinary outcomes.

Subscribe to the Enverus Blog

A weekly update on the latest “no-fluff” insight and analysis of the energy industry.

Related Content

Energy Transition
ByJeffery Jen

There has been a battle for CO2 in the Midwest with two major CO2 pipeline projects, Navigator Heartland Greenway and Summit Carbon Solutions, looking to capitalize on the 45Q PTC by targeting the low capture cost CO2 emissions from the...

Enverus Press Release - Blue hydrogen: Greening the bottom line
Energy Transition
ByCarson Kearl

In a world where energy value can make up a small portion of the revenue stream from emerging business models, what else is at play? Enverus Intelligence Research® views effective energy transition business as taking advantage of two key additive...

Intelligence Oilfield Services
ByErin Faulkner

Permitting information for oil and gas wells is one of the most readily available and least lagged pieces of data on industry activity, but it is often seen as a poor indicator of future drilling activity.

Enverus Press Release - Exploring falling rigs and rising production
Energy Analytics Minerals

While horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing significantly enhance well productivity, they have had the opposite effect on the land department.

ByJoseph Gyure, Editor, Enverus Intelligence

All seven regions covered by the Enverus Day Rate Survey saw rates rise sequentially for the second time in three months in January as confidence started to strengthen among U.S. land drilling contractors.

Energy Transition Intelligence
ByJoseph Gyure, Editor, Enverus Intelligence

Ørsted took a blade to its project pipeline, reducing its ambition to 35-38 GW of installed capacity by 2030 from the previous 50 GW.

ByJoseph Gyure, Editor, Enverus Intelligence

SLB has reaffirmed its 2024 financial guidance, part of an effort by international oilfield services companies to reassure investors after the Saudi Ministry of Energy called off plans to increase its maximum sustainable capacity by 1 MMbo/d to 13 MMbo/d...

Analyst Takes Energy Transition

Despite the relatively scant incentives for buying an EV in the U.S. compared to other countries, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented its plan in 2023 to tighten tailpipe emissions regulations.

Enverus Blog - Increase visibility and efficiency with OpenTicket Mobile digital field ticketing software
Trading and Risk

Amid significant volatility in global energy markets, U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to temporarily halt approvals for pending liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects seems to defy conventional trading wisdom. This audacious move has given rise to a variety of viewpoints...

Let’s get started!

We’ll follow up right away to show you a quick product tour.

Let’s get started!

We’ll follow up right away to show you a quick product tour.

Sign up for our Blog

Register Today

Get Energy Transition Research updates straight to your inbox by filling out the form below.

Sign Up

Power Your Insights

Connect with an Expert

Access Product Tour

Speak to an Expert