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Postponed November Utah BLM Oil, Gas Auction Back on the Schedule

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Utah has rescheduled its postponed November oil and natural gas lease sale for Feb.16, combining it with another sale already scheduled for that month.

Comments on the parcels to be auctioned will be accepted until Jan. 11.

Last month, BLM postponed its lease sale to allow more time to accommodate what the agency called a high level of public interest (see Daily GPINov. 17). Environmental groups applauded the action, noting that “dozens of citizens" had been planning to protest.

In the rescheduled sale, the parcel list includes the same 39 proposed parcels covering 37,580 acres in the BLM field offices of Price, Vernal and Fillmore, as well as Fishlake National Forest. The regularly scheduled February auction also includes parcels in the Moab field office.

The leaseholds to be auctioned are:

●     Price, 18 on 20,562 acres;

●     Vernal, eight on 2,421 acres;

●     Fillmore, nine on 12,944 acres;

●     Fishlake, four on 1,653 acres; and

●     Moab, seven on 8,121 acres.

The revamped sale would include 46 parcels that are within each area’s resources management plan.

With the increased possibility there may be protests, the rescheduled sale is set for a larger venue, the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. The format is a competitive oral auction with bidders registering the morning of the sale.

Before the Utah sale was postponed last month, environmental groups had sought to intervene in a BLM lease sale in neighboring Colorado (see Shale Daily, Nov. 11). Nevertheless, BLM held the sale, which offered almost 90,000 acres in the central-eastern areas of the state.

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