Department of Environmental Conservation

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State Land Oil and Gas Leasing

Titles 11 and 13 under Article 23 of the Environmental Conservation Law authorize DEC to lease state land for oil and gas exploration, development, and production and for underground storage of natural gas. Since the 1930s, DEC has leased many different tracts of state land for these purposes. DEC works with the state's surface managers (Regional Foresters, Wildlife Managers, or other designated representatives) to ensure that production and storage of oil and gas resources on state land are performed in a safe, environmentally-sound fashion. While DEC has not actively leased state land for these purposes in recent years, it currently manages a number of ongoing production and storage leases. These leases are sometimes referred to as "revenue contracts".

DEC is compensated for the use of state land by the lessee in the form of royalties or other payments. Revenues generated from production and storage leases are deposited as follows:

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

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