DENVER – Today, the Bureau of Land Management Colorado State Office sold 106 parcels totaling 83,534 acres for $5,021,931 including rentals and fees at its quarterly oil and gas lease sale. The highest per-acre price was for a 160-acre parcel in Weld County, sold to Colorado Energy Minerals in Denver for $1,200 per acre.
Of the 106 parcels, 91 are United States Forest Service parcels totaling 73,388 acres within the Pawnee National Grassland that sold for $4.2 million. The Forest Service recently conducted an Environmental Impact Statement granting the BLM consent to offer parcels in the Pawnee National Grassland. The BLM acted as a cooperating agency on the Forest Service EIS and adopted the plan.
The parcels in the Pawnee National Grassland contain a No Surface Occupancy stipulation, which means lessees will have access to the subsurface minerals, but not the surface acreage. Leases with this stipulation are typically accessed by using directional drilling methods. According to the Forest Service analysis, the NSO stipulation will require 10 to 60 percent fewer roads, pipelines and well pads to develop the existing patchwork of mineral resources.
Every lease will require reclamation and contain standard terms and stipulations designed to protect air, water, wildlife, and historic and cultural resources.
A lease is the first step before eventually applying to develop and produce oil and gas from the public mineral estate. Additional planning, environmental analysis and public input must occur before drilling can begin. The BLM will work with the Forest Service to analyze any Applications for a Permit to Drill within the Pawnee National Grassland.
The State of Colorado receives 49 percent of the proceeds of each lease sale. In Fiscal Year 2014, Colorado received more than $169 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas. Statewide, more than 22,900 jobs are tied to mineral and energy development on public lands.
For information about BLM Colorado’s oil and gas lease sales, visit: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_