BLM leases 75 oil and gas parcels in March sale

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Bureau of Land Management Wyoming raised more than $3.4 million in its March 24, 2020, quarterly oil and gas lease sale, facilitating economic opportunities and infrastructure investment in local communities. The BLM received bids on 75 parcels totaling about 71,689 acres.

The BLM reviewed 125 parcels nominated for the sale and ultimately offered 105, totaling about 118,216 acres. The agency deleted or deferred 20 whole parcels and parts of 10 others because of resource conflicts.

The BLM is committed to minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while continuing to deliver essential services to the public. As required by law, the Bureau is proceeding with quarterly lease sales, which are now held online and have no associated public health risks. BLM offices in Wyoming are currently closed to the public, and the majority of BLM staff is working from home or on alternative work schedules to maximize visitor and employee safety.

Leasing is the first step in the process to develop federal oil and gas resources. It does not authorize drilling. At this stage, the BLM applies standard terms and conditions and appropriate stipulations to each lease to protect other resources in the area. Before authorizing development on a lease, the BLM must approve a separate drilling permit based on further analysis of detailed site-specific plans and conditions.

Wyoming is one of the nation’s top energy producers on public lands. In 2018, BLM Wyoming lease sales garnered nearly $117 million. About half of the revenue from Wyoming lease sales is disbursed to the State of Wyoming to fund state-determined priority projects. If a lease results in production, the associated royalties are also shared with the state.

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