The Biden administration last week froze for 60 days awarding new oil and gas drilling permits, as well as leases on federal onshore and offshore property, likely heralding more permanent limits to be enacted down the road.

federal lease oil and gas production

The order mandating the freeze was signed by acting Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Scott de la Vega on Jan. 20, the day President Biden was sworn into office.

The action comes amid a flurry of “Day One” executive actions on climate and energy by the new administration. The executive orders as of Friday included rescinding the presidential permit for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline and reentering the 2015 United Nations Global Climate Agreement, aka the Paris Accord.

About 2.7 million b/d, or 25% of U.S. oil production, is tied to...