Oil and gas lease auction brings in more than $227,000
September 13, 2018
(BILLINGS, Mont.) – Bids on oil and gas leases in Montana brought in $227,022.50 in an online auction held September 11, 2018, by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Twenty-five parcels covering nearly 12,200 acres in North Dakota and South Dakota were offered for oil and gas leasing through the competitive online auction. There were 25 registered bidders. Bids were placed on all twenty-five parcels. Kirkwood Oil & Gas LLC of Casper, Wyo., was the highest bidder, with a total bonus bid of $37,362.50 for a 646.24-acre parcel in Bowman County, N.D.
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.
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Making parcels available in quarterly oil and gas lease sales is one way the BLM encourages environmentally responsible development of energy and minerals on public lands in support of the nation's goal of energy independence.