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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

BLM reaps $2.8 million in Utah oil and gas auction

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The Salt Lake Tribune

The Bureau of Land Management received $2.8 million for oil and gas leases it auctioned Tuesday, but the agency mustered the minimum bids on less than the 102,000 acres it offered.

The agency offered 93 parcels in southeastern and central Utah, mostly in San Juan, Sanpete and Sevier counties, at its quarterly sale held at the BLM state office.

While industry representatives nominated these parcels for leasing, developers bid on just 62 of them, covering 50,072 acres. Kimmeridge Four Corners, of New York City, and Discovery Energy of Roswell, N.M. submitted the highest per-acre bids — $270 — for parcels located in eastern San Juan County.

Johnston Land Company Inc. of Durango, Colo., submitted the highest total bid — $436,800 — for a nearby 2,080-acre parcel.

Receipts from federal oil and gas leases are split with the counties and states where they are located. Extensive environmental analysis must occur before any drilling may commence and all the leases feature conditions to protect the environment, including restrictions on when and where drilling can occur.

Thirty-one parcels that didn’t attract the minimum $2-an-acre bid can now be leased through a non-competitive process.

The agency is taking public comment through June 16 on its next auction, slated for Aug. 19, when another 22 parcels go on the block covering 39,287 acres managed by its Salt Lake and Fillmore field offices.