The Trump administration of late has had less to cheer about from quarterly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and natural gas lease sales, but the Permian Basin continues to be a big draw in New Mexico.
A recent second quarter sale covering parts of New Mexico resulted in proceeds of $2.9 million for 50 parcels totaling 39,300 acres. The highest bid was for acreage in Eddy County within the Permian Basin, going to Cimarex Energy Co., which purchased 40 acres at slightly more than $30,000/acre.
The second quarter lease sale in New Mexico is sharply down from the 1Q2019 sale, in which the state pulled in $15.4 million for 45 parcels totaling 13,888 acres. The highest per-acre bid in the first quarter sale was more than $40,400 from ExxonMobil Corp.’s XTO Holdings LLC for 80 acres also in Eddy County. ExxonMobil is pouring more resources into the Permian than any other Lower 48 play.
Neither of the recent sales in the state compared to a two-day online sale held last fall by the BLM New Mexico office in Carlsbad, which resulted in $972 million in bids. The auction’s proceeds exceeded all of the lease sales in the state during 2017.
In a recent Wyoming lease sale, BLM brought in more than $20 million. BLM offered bids on 160 parcels totaling 230,000 acres and took bids on 151 parcels totaling about 186,000 acres.
"In close cooperation with the state of Wyoming, we also deferred portions of five nominated parcels that overlap state-designated migration corridors to further protecting big game migration corridors and habitat management areas," officials said.
Revenues from lease sales in Wyoming had shot up in 2017 compared to their anemic levels in 2016.In total, Wyoming net revenues for the lease sales overall produced $146 million, involving nearly a half-million acres of state and federal lands in 2017. The bulk ($86 million) came from BLM sales.
Meanwhile, a recent lease sale in Utah brought in less than $20,000. The sale drew only Fiik Exploration LLC, which offered $2/acre to obtain leases covering 9,822 acres and seven parcels offered. Total receipts for BLM were $35,539.
The Utah sale involved nearly 10,000 acres managed by either the Color Country or West Desert BLM districts and was free of any parcels in the priority or general habitat management areas for the greater sage grouse.
In a first quarter sale held in Utah, BLM's total receipts were more than $7.1 million with 90 of 111 parcels sold covering more than 135,000 acres. Average lease sale price was $51.62/acre with a highest bid being more than $15,000/acre and the highest price parcel going for more than $1.2 million.
BLM said about half of the revenues from quarterly lease sales go to the states in which they are held.