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Onshore Federal Leasing: New Mexico Dominates

BLM Data Review


  • EnerWrap analyzed fiscal year 2023 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) permitting and drilling data

  • For the Federal fiscal year ending in September 2023, onshore drilling permits on Federal leases were 3,519, up 23.4% compared to fiscal 2022

  • Drilling permits issued in New Mexico were 2,354, up 26.4%

  • New Mexico permits as a percentage of total permits were 67%, an all-time high

  • Wells spud in New Mexico in 2023 were 1,352, an all-time high and up 70% from just three years ago

Approved permits on onshore Federal lands increased in 2023 by 23.4%. Fiscal 2021 was a split year that included the Trump and Biden Presidencies, so this was the highest number of permits issued under the Biden administration.

Permits issued in New Mexico in 2023 were 2,354, lagging only fiscal 2020 and 2021.

New Mexico dominated permits issued on Federal lease in 2023 at 67%.

Total wells spud on onshore Federal leases in fiscal 2023 was the highest since 2014.

Wells spud in New Mexico hit an all-time high in 2023. We’d note wells spud is a lagging factor benefitting from the permits issued in prior years.

64% of all wells spud on Federal leases in 2023 were in New Mexico, another all-time high.

As a reminder, 76% of all oil production from Federal leases in 2023 came from just two counties in New Mexico, Eddy and Lea counties.

An interactive version of this map can be found here.