Record high bid at oil & gas lease auction
As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and gas lease auction on Jan. 24 netted $17,504,250 in revenues from the sale of 40 Federal leases, totaling 2260.89 acres, in North Dakota.
Diamond Resources Co. of Williston, ND submitted a Montana/Dakotas record high per-acre bid at $34,000 per acre for a 53.05-acre parcel located in Mountrail County. Diamond Resources Co. also purchased the highest single-parcel bid at $5,049,000 for a 152.18-acre parcel in Mountrail County.
“There is no doubt that the oil and gas boom continues in North Dakota with record setting sales like this for federal leases,” says BLM Montana/Dakotas State Director Jamie Connell. “We are pleased to see this level of federal funding generated from America’s world class resource.”
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.
The next Montana/Dakotas Federal oil and gas lease sale is scheduled for May 21, 2014, at the BLM’s Montana State Office, located at 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana. Additional information regarding competitive sale lists, detailed results of sales, and the leasing process is available by writing the Bureau of Land Management, 5001 Southgate Dr., Billings, Mont. 59101, by calling 406-896-5004, or at http://www.blm.gov/mt.