Wyoming’s $39 Million In BLM Lease Proceeds Wraps Busy 3rd Quarter Sales
The state of Wyoming’s Bureau of Land Management sale late last week drew nearly $39 million in revenues that will be split between the federal and state governments.
The oil and gas lease sale for Wyoming wraps up BLM sales that garnered more than $171 million in competitive bids in the 3rd quarter of this year in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana and the Dakotas, Nevada, Utah, Ohio, and Louisiana.
Approximately half of the proceeds from each sale will head to the respective states.
“The purpose of the competitive oil and gas lease sale is to meet the growing energy demands of the United States public through the sale and issuance of oil and gas leases,” said Mary Jo Rugwell, Wyoming State Director. “Continued sale and issuance of leases is necessary to maintain economical production of oil and gas reserves owned by the United States.”
Nevada’s June quarterly sale drew a lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club on September 11. Anti-fossil fuel activists alleged the BLM was guilty of “surrendering public lands to oil companies” and avoiding environmental regulations in permitting the sales to move forward.
“The BLM’s policy is to promote oil and gas development if it meets the guidelines and regulations set forth by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and other subsequent laws and policies passed by the U.S. Congress,” the BLM had written in its June sale announcement.
The BLM Wyoming office rejected a protest submitted by WildEarth Guardians, who had challenged the lease sales in New Mexico as well as Wyoming.
A 2016 protest by the group resulted in a nine-month delay in dispersing proceeds from the 3rd quarter 2016 New Mexico lease sale, nearly crippling the state who anticipated receiving approximately half of the $146 million in revenues split with the federal government.
This year, New Mexico’s September 7 sale attracted the heaviest bidding, with 61 parcels producing revenues of nearly $131 million in the robust Permian Basin in the southeast corner of the state.
Colorado ($603,174) and Montana ($305,802) also saw strong sales, along with BLM’s Eastern States (Ohio and Louisiana) at $201,018. Nevada and Utah had combined sales above the $53,000 mark.
Several parcels in Campbell County, Wyoming saw bids at more than $12,000 per acre, with the most expensive parcel in the county selling for nearly $3.6 million.
Since March 2017, all BLM oil and gas lease sales have been conducted online through Energynet.com, as part of agency and Department of Interior strategy to streamline and open the bidding process to more interested parties while increasing security and transparency of the sales.