BLM schedules four online auctions in December covering parcels in Montana, Colorado, Utah, and various Eastern States
WASHINGTON – Building on the success of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recent Eastern States Office online oil and gas lease sale, the BLM announced today that it will hold four additional online lease sale auctions before the end of the year.
These additional online lease sales continue BLM’s effort to modernize and increase the efficiency of its oil and gas program to improve competition and find administrative cost savings. The BLM is moving Montana’s sale, originally set for Oct. 18, and the Colorado sale set for Nov. 10, to online auctions held on Dec. 8, 2016; the sale in Utah, originally set for Nov. 15, and the Eastern States sale, originally set for Dec. 8, will move to online auctions held on Dec. 13, 2016.
| BLM State Office|| Original Sale Date|| New Online Sale Date|
| Montana|| Oct. 18, 2016|| Dec. 8, 2016|
| Colorado|| Nov. 10, 2016|| Dec. 8, 2016|
| Utah|| Nov. 15, 2016|| Dec. 13, 2016|
| Eastern States|| Dec. 8, 2016|| Dec. 13, 2016|
Colorado’s lease sale notice is available at: http://on.doi.gov/2dyCwh9; Utah’s lease sale notice is available at: http://on.doi.gov/2deHO0c and Eastern States’ lease sale notice is available at: http://on.doi.gov/2eclUwC. Montana posted an amendment of its lease sale notice at: http://on.doi.gov/2dwkiwM.
Moving to online lease sales comes in response to authority provided by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015, which amended the Mineral Leasing Act to allow the BLM to conduct online lease sales. This statutory change was followed by updates to regulations enabling the BLM to utilize either in-person or online auctions.
These legislative and regulatory changes are based on the results of a successful online auction pilot conducted by the BLM in Colorado in 2009. Based on the results of that sale, the BLM estimated that internet-based auctions could increase aggregate lease sale revenues by about $2 million a year.
Online sales have the potential to generate greater competition and higher bonus bids by making participation easier, because bidders do not have to travel to a central location. Online sales also provide an opportunity to reduce administrative costs associated with lease sale activities and to provide greater transparency to the public. Observers may log on to the EnergyNet platform (energynet.com) to see a sale as it progresses.
The BLM’s Eastern States Office sale on September 20 was the first auction under this new authority and was deemed very successful by several measures. The Eastern States Office offered 14 parcels, totaling about 4,214 acres in Mississippi and Kentucky. There were multiple bidders on each parcel, generating $80,223.50 in total receipts, which will be split between the U.S. Treasury and the state where the lease is located.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of Americas public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.