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So the federal government is “shut down” – at least temporarily, as of this Tuesday morning writing – and several folks have inquired about what, if any, impact this will have on the continuity of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. The short answer is, not much.
A longer answer came via email yesterday from my friends at an industry trade association in Washington, in the form of the following report on impacts to various federal agencies that have regulatory authority over the industry in some form or fashion. The report reads, in part:
On Site Security
Onshore oil and gas: Processing of oil and gas permits by the Bureau of Land Management comes to a halt. BLM will continue to monitor ongoing oil, gas, coal and other mineral operations. BLM will keep inspectors and enforcement personnel on the job for some activities, including overseeing some drilling operations and patrolling oil and gas fields “to make sure that theft of oil or condensate is not occurring.” Alaska pipeline operations will also keep going because funding comes from non-federal sources and for health and safety reasons. And in case you were wondering, oil and gas companies still have to pay royalties during a shutdown.
Read the rest of the article, "Oil And Gas Industry Won't Feel Much Pain From Government 'Shutdown'" by David Blackmon.
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