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BLM plans June oil and gas lease sale


Montana will see a federal oil and gas lease sale in June, the Bureau of Land Management announced recently, the first since a retooling of the rules by President Joe Biden’s administration.

The BLM announced Friday that it is seeking public input on 52 parcels totaling 20,951 acres located in Montana and North Dakota. There are new, increased rates for bid minimums royalties. The sale is scheduled for June 27.

Most of the parcels up for lease are located in North Dakota. The exception is a 227-acre parcel west of Forsyth on the Yellowstone River.

The new lease terms are established in the Inflation Reduction Act. Royalty rates are increasing from 12.5% to 16.67%, bringing the federal royalties in line with the Montana rate. Federal officials have also done away with noncompetitive leases, the kind that were previously offered on a deep discount, but often yielded no production.

Montana isn’t a big oil producing state. It ranked a distant 11th nationally for crude oil production in 2021 with about 18.9 million barrels that year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Although rental and royalty rates are increasing, other lease terms created by the Inflation Reduction Act aren’t being used for the sale.

“We’re extremely disappointed to see the BLM move ahead with lease sales of public lands in Montana. The pace and scale of these sales across the West over the last few months stand at complete odds with the Interior Department’s promise — and the mandate it has from passage of the Inflation Reduction Act — to overhaul its oil and gas leasing rules,” said Aubrey Bertram, Wild Montana staff attorney.

The new lease sale rules are supposed to accommodate renewable energy development, as well as bids for recreation use. Those terms won’t be part of the June sale.

Federal law requires quarterly lease sales, but in 2022 and 2023 there has been just one mid-year sale scheduled for the Montana and North Dakota region.



Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Oil/Gas