Minerals Council

Case on final oil and gas rules scheduled for Aug. 10

A federal judge has scheduled the preliminary court case to consider a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on the final oil and gas regulations that will change 25 CFR Part 226. They were scheduled to take effect Friday.

Chief Judge for the District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Gregory Frizzell, ordered a hearing for 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 10 in Tulsa to consider the Osage Minerals Council and Oklahoma Producers’ Association’s motion.

Both entities are suing the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and BIA Director Mike Black. They are asking Frizzell to review whether if the 155-page final rules for 25 CFR Part 226 for oil and gas drilling on the Osage Minerals Estate are in compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) – which governs the way federal agencies may propose and establish regulations.

In a prepared release, the OMC said the new regulations will “cause irreversible damage to the Osage Mineral Estate” and “the OMC will suffer an immediate loss of its authority over the management of its mineral estate,” should the rules go into effect.

Many producers have expressed outrage over the new rules since 2013, when the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee first began drafting them. Oil and gas producers have said they will leave Osage County over the new regulations, which they say are burdensome and too costly.

The negotiated rulemaking process was a stipulation of the 2011 Osage Trust Case settlement in which the Nation received $380 million from the BIA for mismanagement of the Osage Minerals Estate. The rulemaking process, which began in 2012, was supposed to improve the management of the Osage Mineral Estate and prevent further mismanagement by the BIA.