Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

State Land Oil and Gas Leasing

The Department is authorized under Article 23, Title 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law to lease state lands for oil and gas exploration and development and for underground gas storage. State park lands, including the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves, lands under the waters of Lake Ontario and certain other lands are excluded from leasing. The Department is not authorized to lease lands under Lake Erie for oil development. Leasing of state lands has occurred since the 1930s.

The Division of Mineral Resources acts as the leasing agent for large tracts of state land, working with the state surface managers to identify areas suitable for leasing and to develop area-specific special conditions and stipulations to provide for exploration and development in a safe, environmentally sound manner consistent with surface management objectives. The Division also leases small tracts of state lands non-competitively when oil or gas will be drained from the lands and for gas storage. The Department does not regulate leases on private lands, but does provide information in the Landowner's Guide to Oil and Gas Leasing brochure.

At the end of 2011, DEC administered 78 leases on 44,450 acres of state land in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, and Steuben Counties.

Revenue from oil and gas leases are deposited as follows:

  • General Fund for State Reforestation and Multiple Use Areas
  • Conservation Fund for Wildlife Management Areas
  • Through DEC exchange account to the appropriate other state agency

More about State Land Oil and Gas Leasing:

  • State Land Leasing Process - How State Reforestation Areas, Multiple Use Areas and Wildlife Management Areas are leased for oil and gas exploration.
  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8072.
  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Mineral Resources
    625 Broadway
    3rd Floor
    Albany NY 12233-6500
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions