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BLM Exploration Operations (4-FD-d)

Exploration operations on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed public lands must comply with BLM rules for conducting exploration operations 43 CFR 3252 and require a completion report at the conclusion of exploration operations under 43 CFR 3253.

BLM Exploration Operations Process

4-FD-d.1 – Complete Exploration Operations

Once, a developer receives an exploration permit from the BLM, the developer must complete exploration operations in compliance with 43 CFR 3252.

4-FD-d.2 to 4-FD-d.3 – Is the Developer Exploring on Lands in Which They Hold a Geothermal Lease

If the developer is conducting exploration operations on lands in which they hold a geothermal lease, the developer must submit all data obtained as a result of the operations to the BLM. 43 CFR 3253.10. For exploration operations on unleased lands or lands in which the developer is not the lessee or unit operator, the developer is not required to submit data. However, if the developer wants the exploration operations to count toward the diligent exploration expenditure requirement or if the developer is making significant expenditures to extend a lease, the developer must submit the data to the BLM.

4-FD-d.4 – Notice of Completion of Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations

Upon completion of exploration operations, the developer must send the BLM a complete and signed Notice of Completion of Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-010), regardless of whether the developer is the lessee on the lands explored. The notice must include:

  • A description of the exploration operations;
  • Well history;
  • Completion and abandonment procedures; and
  • Site reclamation measures.

The developer must send the notice to the BLM within 30 days after:

  • Completing any geophysical exploration operations;
  • Completing the drilling of temperature gradient well(s) approved under a Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration;
  • Plugging and abandoning a temperature gradient well; and
  • Plugging shot holes and reclaiming all exploration sites.

43 CFR 3253.11.

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