While the oil companies loudly push for more drilling, there is something else they are happy to keep quiet. The oil companies are sitting on more than 29 million acres of onshore federal oil and gas leases that they are not even using an area bigger than the state of Ohio, locked up by oil companies. And they are not only sitting on tens of millions of acres of federal leases they aren't using, they also aren't using thousands of drilling permits that were issued to them last year by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management. . ."
Erik Milito, upstream director for American Petroleum Institute (API) , called the "use-it-or-lose-it" argument "a convenient way to detract attention from policies that undermine the mission of supplying Americans with the energy they need." He said, ". . . we'd like to set record straight again regarding charges by administration officials and members of Congress that American oil and natural gas companies are sitting on oil leases granted by the government, stubbornly refusing to turn them into producing leases. . . So to set the record straight, we are making available to you two fact sheets one for offshore and one for onshore that explain exploration and production timelines. We believe they offer a thorough explanation of just what is involved, and how long it takes to turn a lease into a producing field as much as 10 years. . . It is ridiculous for anyone to imply that these companies would be willing to spend billions of dollars to acquire leases, and then simply sit on them while their competitors around the world are busy producing oil and natural gas. . ."
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