Climate + Energy

Map Shows Oil and Gas Industry Incidents Rampant on Public Lands

UPDATE: We just received more complete data from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and have updated our interactive map, check it out >>

Mainly, the map now shows “undesirable events” reported in Alaska and California since January 1, 2010. And again, these “undesirable events” are basically oil and gas industry disasters that occur while companies are drilling, fracking, and producing from publicly owned oil and gas reserves. Stay tuned for more as we intend to keep this map  updated at least every 60 days.

incidents map screenshotCheck out our latest interactive map of reported oil and gas industry “undesirable events” on American public lands. Click on the map above or click here >>

This map shows the location of reported “undesirable events” related to the production of oil and gas on federal oil and gas leases, mainly in the American West. According to the Bureau of Land Management, “undesirable events” include spills, equipment failures that lead to gas venting, fires, injuries and fatalities, and releases that occur in sensitive areas.


You can click on the reported events in the map to get more details on who was behind it, what happened, and what kind of event it was.

The map was prepared using the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Automated Fluid Minerals Support System database, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (you can download that data in spreadsheet form here).

This database is based on reports that companies are required to submit whenever they experience an “undesirable event.”  Here’s an example of one of those reports, which we also obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.  This one is for a spill of up to 100 barrels of produced water (that’s 4,300 gallons).nfo-undesired-ev.png

This map is a complement to other oil and gas industry “incident” maps we’ve prepared for other western states. In case you haven’t seen them yet, we’ve mapped out incidents in:






New Mexico and



While the state data is very useful, it fails to provide a complete picture of spills, fires, blowouts, etc., occurring in relation to the development of federal oil and gas leases.  Conversely, the data from the Bureau of Land Management only shows what’s happening on federal oil and gas leases, so it doesn’t show every “incident” that’s occurred in these states.

What’s striking about this data is how frequently oil and gas industry incidents occur on our public lands.

In total, since 2010, there has been at least one “undesirable event” every day on our public lands. 

oil and gas undesirable event every day

It’s another sign that the last thing our public lands need are more fracking. If the oil and gas industry can’t prevent spills, fires, blowouts, and other calamities, then they shouldn’t be allowed to develop our public lands, period.


5 replies »

  1. We must STOP drilling and fracking for fossil fuels and continue to find better ways of capturing the wind, water and sun power! Our country can do it regardless what the oil industry says or wants!