For the more information about the geologic resources of the National Park Service, please visit

Oil and Gas Operators Handbook

Man asks survey questions at Yosemite National Park.
Operators Handbook
for Nonfederal Oil and Gas Development in Units of the National Park Service

The Geologic Resources Division is pleased to announce the release of the Operator's Handbook for Nonfederal Oil and Gas Development in Units of the National Park System. This handbook has been developed to assist oil and gas operators in:

  • understanding the NPS nonfederal oil and gas regulations at 36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B (36 CFR 9B),
  • preparing a plan of operations, or where applicable, a 36 CFR §9.32(e) application, and
  • conducting nonfederal oil and gas operations in units of the National Park System in a manner that protects park resources and values.

The handbook is organized with an overview of the 36 CFR 9B regulations and permitting process, information requirements for each type of oil and gas operation, and sections covering performance bonds, spill control and emergency preparedness plans, and operator liability. Supporting information includes: a reprint of the 9B regulations; an overview of relevant laws, regulations, and policies; sample letters for your use; guidelines for the detection and quantification of contamination at oil and gas sites; and a listing of NPS oil and gas contacts.

The NPS previously released the handbook as a draft document in 2002. The NPS has updated the legal and policy requirements sections of the document and incorporated changes recommended by NPS staff and nonfederal oil and gas operators. CD-ROMs of the handbook may be requested by contacting the Geologic Resources Division at 303-969-2090.

To view individual chapters of the handbook, go to the Chapter Index, to download the entire handbook for printing [14.2 Mb], click here

Related Links



Last Updated: February 18, 2016