RENO – In keeping with the administration’s goal of strengthening America’s energy independence, the Bureau of Land Management received bids on oil and gas leases in Nevada that brought in $39,120 in an online auction held yesterday.
Three parcels in Nye County, encompassing approximately 3,680 acres in the Battle Mountain District, were offered during the September quarterly oil and gas lease sale. Bids were received on all three parcels, totaling all 3,680 acres offered.
Federal Abstract Company of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the highest bidder, paying $9 per acre for all three parcels.
Making parcels available in quarterly oil and gas lease sales is one way the BLM supports the America First Energy Plan, which allows the free market system to determine if energy development on public lands is feasible.
“By providing opportunities for energy development, the BLM is supporting job creation and the economy of local communities,” said Marci Todd, acting BLM Nevada state director.
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.
The state of Nevada receives 49 percent of the proceeds of each lease sale. In fiscal year 2016, Nevada received approximately $1.4 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for oil and gas. Statewide, more than 26,000 jobs are tied to mineral and energy development on BLM-managed public lands. The previous Battle Mountain District sale was held on June 13. That sale generated $38,560, selling three parcels covering approximately 5,760 acres, through competitive and noncompetitive sales.
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.
Online oil and gas lease sales streamline the bidding process and allow the BLM to serve the public better and faster. These lease sales strengthen domestic energy production and contribute to the country’s energy independence.
The next oil and gas sale for Nevada is scheduled for the week of Dec. 12.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In fiscal year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.