Date: Jan. 31, 2007
BILLINGS – Bonus bids topped $2.4 million at the Bureau of Land Management’s January 30 bi-monthly oil and gas lease sale in Billings. That amount was a million dollars more than the total for the last sale held in November.
Continental Resources of Enid, Okla., bid $457,340 for leasing rights on a 1,759-acre Forest Service parcel in Billings County, N. D. That was the highest total bid in the sale. The highest per-acre bid was $2,600 from Marshall and Winston, Inc., of Midland, Texas, for a 40-acre parcel in Mountrail County, N.D.
Of the 126 parcels offered, 67 were in Montana, 28 were in North Dakota and 30 were in South Dakota. Parcels receiving bids included 43 in Montana, 27 in North Dakota and 14 in South Dakota. Receipts from federal oil and gas leases are shared with the state or county where the lands are located. All leases are issued for a 10-year term.
Competitive oil and gas lease sales are generally conducted every other month at BLM’s Montana State Office. Additional information regarding competitive sale lists, detailed results of sales, or the leasing process is available by writing the Bureau of Land Management, 5001 Southgate Dr., Billings, Mont., 59101, by calling (406) 896-5004, or at www.mt.blm.gov/oilgas/leasing/index.html.
Less than one percent of the BLM-managed acreage nationally is disturbed by oil and gas activity. To minimize impacts (the “footprint”) on the land, the Forest Service and BLM analyze the potential environmental effects from exploration and development before offering any leases for sale. All leases come with conditions on oil and gas activities to protect the environment that can include limits on when drilling can occur or restrictions on surface occupancy. Once an operator proposes exploration or development on a BLM-issued lease, the further environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act is conducted to determine the site-specific need for various types of impact-limiting or mitigation measures. In addition, many operators routinely use Best Management Practices such as remote monitoring of producing wells to minimize surface impacts.