The Bureau of Land Management manages oil and gas development on federal lands and processes drilling applications. Each year it receives more applications than it can review. It also approves more permits than operators use.

The Bureau of Land Management manages oil and gas development on federal lands and processes drilling applications. Each year it receives more applications than it can review. It also approves more permits than operators use.

While the application backlog has improved—with review times dropping by more than half from May 2016-June 2019—we found problems with the data system used to track applications. Users are dissatisfied with how it works and we found, in some cases, records have been lost.

Among other things, we recommended that the Bureau improve the data system used to track applications.

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