Wyoming oil and gas lease sale nets record dollar amount

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) generated more than $49 million in the August lease sale for Wyoming leasing rights to oil and gas parcels -- the highest dollar amount earned in a single BLM sale in the state.

Interest in Wyoming has increased as shale drilling and production has picked up across the US. Home to the emerging Niobrara Shale, Wyoming currently has 49 rigs drilling in the state, an increase of 44 percent over the last two years, according to Baker Hughes rig reports.

A total of 83,038.15 acres in 74 parcels were sold, which is all of the acreage offered in the lease sale.

The bids on the acreage ranged from the federally mandated minimum of $2 an acre to a high bid of $4,500 an acre. Additionally, successful bidders pay an administrative fee and a yearly rental of $1.50 an acre for the first five years and a rental fee of $2 an acre for the next five years.

“The success of today’s lease sale in Wyoming reflects this administration’s commitment to balanced and responsible development of America’s conventional and renewable energy resources,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “Our leasing policies ensure environmental protection of important natural resources on BLM-managed lands, while at the same time aiding in orderly development of oil and natural gas deposits and reducing our dependence on imported oil.”

Nearly half of the bid and rental money generated will go to the State of Wyoming.

The next BLM oil and gas lease sale is scheduled for later this month in Denver, Colorado.

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