FEDERAL - REGULATORY: BLM Leasing Plan – California. The Trump administration has opened the door to new oil and gas drilling in California. On October 4, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved a new plan to open up roughly 722,000 acres of Central and Northern California to new oil and gas drilling. The move doesn’t guarantee drilling will take place immediately, as the agency must first approve individual permits authorizing the activity. The leasing decision, published in its Record of Decision: Central Coast Field Office Resource Management Plan Amendment for Oil and Gas Leasing and Development, effectively reverses a de facto moratorium that had blocked new leases in the region since 2013, when a federal court ruling forced the Interior Department to further evaluate the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing to stimulate oil and gas production. Read more.FEDERAL - JUDICIAL: Tribal Lands – North Dakota. On August 5, in Kodiak Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. v. Burr (Case Nos. 18-1824, 18-1856), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (North Dakota), addressed a dispute over flaring natural gas from wells on tribal lands and whether tribal or federal law controls. The case arose out of a dispute where tribal members alleged non-tribal oil and gas companies owed them royalties from “wastefully-flared gas.” Some of the companies contested the tribal court’s jurisdiction over them in tribal court. In finding for the oil and gas companies, the Court upheld a federal district court injunction in favor of the companies and affirmed that injunction “because we conclude suits over oil and gas leases on allotted trust lands are governed by federal law, not tribal law, and the tribal court lacks jurisdiction over the non-member oil and gas companies.” Read more. INDUSTRY NEWS: Worldwide energy use to rise nearly 50% by 2050. According to a September 24 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), world energy consumption is expected to rise nearly 50% from 2018 levels by 2050, driven by countries where strong economic growth is driving demand, particularly in Asia. The EIA also sees transportation energy consumption growing nearly 40% and global natural gas consumption growing by more than 40% in the same period. Read more.