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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the use of development contracts by the Bureau of Land Management, acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, in its onshore federal oil and gas leasing program, focusing on whether the contracts: (1) entered into or approved since 1986 satisfy the legal requirements for development contracts; and (2) have had adverse effects on small oil and gas producers.

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Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status
Congress should amend the mineral leasing acts to expressly permit or prohibit Interior to enter into or approve development contracts for exploration for oil and gas on largely unleased federal lands or to increase or remove the acreage limitation.
Closed - Not Implemented

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