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Date:  August 27, 2008
Contact:  Greg Albright (406) 896-5260

Results of August Oil and Gas Lease Sale 

Bids reached $3,161,448 in the Bureau of Land Management’s Aug. 26 oil and gas lease sale in Billings. The total was well off the $30 million record set at a similar sale in June.

XTO Energy of Ft. Worth had the highest bid of the sale when it offered $560,000 for leasing rights on a 400-acre parcel in Billings County, N.D. The highest per-acre bid of the sale was $6,800 from Sinclair Oil and Gas Co. of Salt Lake City for a 40-acre parcel in Mountrail County, N.D.

Of the 32 parcels offered, 15 were in Montana and 17 were in North Dakota. Three of the Montana parcels offered failed to receive a bid. 

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.blm.gov/mt.

Oil and gas leasing is driven by consumer demand, and competitive oil and gas lease sales are conducted at least four times per year at BLM’s Montana State Office. 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.

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, 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.