Although the OPEC-Russia price war still rages, the Bureau of Land Management’s quarterly oil and gas lease sale still found takers for leases in Montana and North Dakota.
Denbury Onshore was the high bidder in the BLM’s most recent quarterly oil and gas lease sale, paying $10,363.50 for a 1,072.16-acre parcel in Powder River County, Montana.
Denbury also put in five other bids on parcels totaling just over 5,000 acres, all in Montana.
The highest bid per acre was $102 per acre, from KKREP, which listed an Indiana address. That company bid on two parcels totaling about 120 acres.
In all, the quarterly sale raised $37,462 for eight parcels of land in Eastern Montana and North Dakota through a competitive online auction, according to a press release from the BLM. There were 19 registered bidders. All eight parcels received bids.
Fifty-percent of the proceeds from the sale, which was held March 25, will go to the states where the oil and gas activity occurs. The rest will go to the U.S. Treasury.
BLM oil and gas leases are awarded for 10 years, and for as long thereafter as there is production of oil and gas in paying quantities. Royalties of 12.5 percent are collected on all producing wells and shared between the federal government and the states.
Environmental studies were conducted on each of the parcels prior to leasing them, along with public comment periods. All leases include conditions that require leasing oil and gas companies to protect the environment during production and development. These include limits on when drilling can occur as well as restrictions on surface occupancy.
Further environmental study under NEPA will also be triggered once an operator proposes exploration or development of one of the leases, to identify site-specific concerns and mitigation measures.
The BLM, which manages 245 million acres of public land in 12 western states including Montana and North Dakota, is required by statute to offer quarterly oil and gas lease sales for available federal lands. All leases offered for sale must go through both an environmental review and a public comment period.
Last year the BLM sold $1.1 billion from 28 oil and gas lease sales.