Oil and gas lease auction brings in over $190,000
(BILLINGS, Mont.) – Bids on oil and gas leases in Montana brought in $193,341.50 in an online auction held March 12-13 by the Bureau of Land Management.
Eighty-three parcels covering nearly 46,200 acres in Montana were offered for oil and gas leasing through the competitive online auction. There were 15 registered bidders. Bids were placed on 35 parcels totaling 26,665.026 acres. Wells Petroleum, Inc., of Golden, Colo., was the highest bidder, with a total bonus bid of $28,848.00 for a 2,403.08-acre parcel in Carbon Co., Mont.
One hundred nine parcels covering nearly 64,500 acres scattered across Central Montana were included on the original sale notice. The BLM deferred the rights to explore for oil and gas on 26 parcels and on a portion of two additional parcels located near the city of Livingston, and in the foothills surrounding the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges in Montana, totaling about 17,300 acres.
The BLM awards oil and gas leases for a period of 10 years, and for as long thereafter as there is production in paying quantities.
The revenue from the sale of federal leases, as well as the 12.5 percent royalties collected from the production of those leases, is shared between the federal government and the states.
Potential environmental effects that could result from exploration and development are analyzed before any parcels are made available for leasing. 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 and multiple wells per pad, to minimize surface impacts.
Making parcels available in quarterly oil and gas lease sales is one way the BLM supports the America First Energy Plan, which allows the free market system to determine if energy development on public lands is feasible.
This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.