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Report: Much of nation's oil, gas off-limits

About half the oil and more than a quarter of the natural gas beneath 99-million acres of federal land is off-limits to drilling, the Bush administration says in a report that had been sought by industry to highlight environmental and other hurdles to development.

Just 3 percent of the oil and 13 percent of the gas under federal land is accessible under standard lease terms that require only basic protections for the environment and cultural resources, according to the survey, which was ordered last year by Congress. An additional 46 percent of the oil and 60 percent of the gas "may be developed subject to additional restrictions" such as bans to protect animals and sensitive terrain during parts of the year.

The revised inventory, released Tuesday by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, is starkly different from a study done three years ago.

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