In the northern Delaware Basin in the past couple of months, operators with leases on federal land were rushing to secure their drilling permits. U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden has said he will forbid new drilling on federal land.

And those leases weren’t cheap. Matador Resources Co. paid up to $95,000 an acre in 2018 in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sale.

Bernstein Research senior analyst Bob Brackett reported in early October that, in the 28 months prior to February 2020, the ratio of federal-to-state permits issued in Eddy and Lea counties, N.M., was nearly always less than 60% federal.

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