The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Utah reported net proceeds of slightly more than $3 million from an oil and natural gas auction this month that drew bids on 96 of 105 parcels offered.
Lakewood, CO-based Baseline Minerals Inc. submitted the highest total bid/acre ($66) for Parcel 234, and the highest total bid/parcel ($155,040) for Parcel 155, both in BLM’s Vernal Field office area in Utah.
The sale had been reduced by nearly half following a court order in September by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, which excluded 116 parcels. The court ruled that a longer comment period on environmental compliance documents tied to the parcels in question was required.
The excluded parcels intersect with priority or general habitat management areas for the greater sage grouse, federally protected birds that inhabit parts of 11 western states. BLM earlier this month proposed amendments that now protect grouse habitat. The excluded parcels are to be offered in March during a quarterly sale.
The federal leases have 10-year terms and continue as long as there is paying production of oil and gas. In fiscal year 2017, BLM said oil and gas activity on federal lands in Utah contributed $2.6 billion in total economic output.