BLM oil, gas lease auction brings in close to $28,000
Bids on three oil and gas leases brought in nearly $28,000 at an auction the Bureau of Land Management held Tuesday in Billings.
All three of the leases are for federal minerals in Fall River County, S.D., which lie beneath private surface ownership and are within the administrative boundaries of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland, administered by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service.
Murfin Drilling Company Inc., of Wichita, Kan., was the highest bidder, paying $66 an acre for a lease on a 320 acre parcel.
BLM oil and gas leases are awarded 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 leases are offered 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 and multiple wells per pad to minimize surface impacts.