The Eastern States division of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported Monday that 45 parcels of federal subsurface mineral estate brought in $677,000 through a competitive auction of oil and gas leases on the Ouachita and Ozark National Forests in Arkansas, the DeSoto, Homochitto and Tombigbee National Forests in Mississippi and the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

Conducted by the BLM on June 23 in Springfield, VA, the auction brought in bonus bids, filing fees, and rental revenue amounting to $508,000 that will go to the U.S. Treasury and $169,000 that will be shared with the three states.

The BLM has responsibility for leasing about 40 million acres of federally-owned minerals located in the 31 states east of and adjoining the Mississippi River and offers selected parcels at quarterly competitive auctions. Regulations require the bidding to open at $2 per acre. The high bid for an oil gas lease at this auction was made by Robert S. Block of Oklahoma City, OK, who paid $356,000 for a 900 acre parcel in Johnson County, AR.

Leases are awarded for a term of 10 years and as long thereafter as there is production of oil or gas in paying quantities. The federal government said it receives a royalty of 12.5% of the value of production. Also, each state government receives a 25% minimum share of the bonus and royalty revenue from each lease that is issued.

The BLM said the next competitive oil and gas lease sale is scheduled for Sept. 15. For more information, visit

Interior Department-managed land and water produce about 30% of the nation’s energy supply. About one-third of the U.S.’s natural gas, coal, and oil, one-half of geothermal, 17% of hydropower, and 10% of wind power are produced in areas managed by the U. S. Department of the Interior.

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