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BLM lease sale draws few bidders

NNBW Staff

Falling oil prices continued to dampen lease sale activity at the Bureau of Land Management’s quarterly oil and gas lease auction in Reno.

The BLM last week sold leases on just 25 parcels of 492 that it put out to bid and brought in $175,068 in lease payments. Of that amount, $105,864 is bonus bid money that is split equally between the state and the U.S. Treasury.

The highest-valued parcel, located in Lincoln County, brought in $12,493. The parcel also was the highest bid per acre at $6.50. The majority of parcel leases sold for the opening bid price of $2 per acre.

In its December 2008 quarterly competitive sale, the BLM received $416,154 total in bonus bids, with 96 parcels sold. The December high bid parcel was $6 per acre in Nye County.

During the summer of 2008, when oil was selling at $140 a barrel, a BLM auction in Reno drew $949,539 in bids on 20 parcels. A 789-acre parcel in Nye County drew one of the highest bids in the history of BLM auctions in Nevada at $453,675, or $575 an acre.

The leases are for a period of 10 years with annual rentals of $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 an acre after that until production begins. Once a lease is producing, a royalty of 12.5 percent is charged.