Last week the United States Senate passed legislation with the goal of accelerating the process used to approve North Dakota oil and gas drilling permits. The legislation is called the BLM Management Permit Processing Improvement Act. This act is in place over concerns about federal lands on mainly the Fort Berthold Reservation. As a result the Bureau of Land Management will increase its offices in the Bakken as well as extending its residence by 10 years in its Sydney, Montana office. Prior to the BLM Management Permit Processing Improvement Act it took three to nine months for a drilling permit to be approved on federally owned land. One third of oil production in North Dakota is located on the Fort Berthold Reservation. This bill theoretically will not only make it easier to develop land in North Dakota, but will also speed up approvals for natural gas capture systems and pipelines in order to decrease flaring.
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