In keeping with the Administration’s goals of promoting America’s energy dominance, seven Bureau of Land Management state offices generated $170.7 million in bonus bids during their quarterly oil and gas lease sales. Among these sales, rights to a total of 218 parcels, covering 134,834.71 acres were sold.
“Oil and gas lease sales on federal land directly support domestic energy production and President Trump’s energy dominance goals for America,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “These sales provide critical revenue and job growth in rural America. We will continue to work to cut the red tape and improve processes to ensure regulations serve their intended purpose.”
“These successful lease sales reflect our sound energy policy, which draws from the vast, untapped energy reserves right here in America,” said acting BLM Director Michael D. Nedd.
BLM New Mexico had the largest sale of the quarter, generating approximately $130.9 million in bonus bids on Sept. 7. Wyoming held the second-largest sale of the quarter on Sept. 21, generating $38.7 million in bonus bids.
BLM Colorado’s sale, held on Sept. 7, totaled $602,088 in bonus bids. In BLM Montana/Dakotas, bonus bids totaled $305,802 in a sale held Sept. 12. Sales that same day in Nevada and Utah brought in $33,120 and $8,204, respectively. In Eastern States, bonus bids totaled $201,018 in lease sales held on Sept. 21.
The Sept. 7 sale in New Mexico is also the largest federal onshore sale so far this year, followed by an earlier sale in Wyoming, in February, which generated nearly $129 million in bonus bids.
“The Secretary’s strategy for energy dominance is working and will continue to bear fruit,” said Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy Vincent DeVito. “This pace is a reflection of our responsible energy policy and administrative changes that are making Interior a better place to do business.”
“This is a strong step towards restoring trust and partnership with our local communities who rely on our responsible energy leasing as a source of job growth and revenue to the states to fund schools, fire and police services, roads and bridges and other municipal needs,” said Katharine MacGregor, Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals. “Energy development on public lands is a win-win for our nation’s energy future as well as economic growth in rural America.”
Fifty percent of the revenue from lease sales goes to the state where the oil and gas activity is occurring, while the rest goes to the U.S. Treasury. If producing wells are produced on the lease parcel, the royalties paid on the Federal minerals are also shared with the state.
This year’s pace of lease sales has exceeded that of calendar year 2016 in terms of number of sales held and bonus bids.
For example, with this quarter’s sales, the BLM has held 20 of the scheduled 29 onshore oil and gas lease sales this year around the nation. Those sales combined have brought in $316.2 million in bonus bids. This contrasts with all of 2016, during which time the BLM held 20 onshore oil and gas lease sales and generated $192.5 million in bonus bids.
A bonus bid is a one-time payment in exchange for exclusive access to explore a parcel and grants an exclusive lease for a set period of time. The BLM awards oil and gas leases for a term of 10 years and as long thereafter as there is production of oil and gas in paying quantities.
The BLM’s all-of-the-above approach to energy development includes oil and gas, coal, strategic minerals and renewable sources, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, which can all be developed on public lands.
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 sales are also in line with the Trump administration’s America First Energy Plan, which includes development of fossil fuels and coal, as well as renewable energy.
In fiscal year 2016, oil and gas development on BLM-managed lands supported 201,000 jobs nationwide and contributed more than $42 billion in output to the U.S. economy.
For more information about BLM oil and gas lease sales, please visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/oil-and-gas/leasing.