Oil & Gas

well pad
Aerial view of an oil well site, Padre Island National Seashore, TX.

In the National Park Service Organic Act and the acts that established individual park units, the Congress authorized the Secretary of the Interior to develop regulations for managing and protecting units. Based on these authorities, the National Park Service promulgated regulations at 36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B, that govern the exercise of nonfederal oil and gas rights in park units.

The "9B" regulations require prospective operators to obtain National Park Service approval of a operations permit and to secure reclamation bonds before they commence operations in a unit. The permit application details all activities of the oil and gas development, describes how reclamation will be completed, and provides the basis for calculating performance bonds. The National Park Service uses the information to determine the effects of proposed operations on the environment, visitor uses, and park management.

Last updated: January 9, 2017