On Thursday, November 7, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the Department of the Interior responsible for the federal onshore oil and gas program, held a live auction for oil and gas development leases on federal lands in New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The lease sale organized by the BLM’s New Mexico office included 16 parcels made up of over 7,600 acres of federal lands in the two states. BLM offered 14 parcels in New Mexico and 2 parcels in Oklahoma. All 16 parcels received bids during the lease sale and the parcels collectively garnered $18.4 million in total high bids.
The 14 New Mexican parcels generated the vast majority of revenues – over $18 million – while the two parcels located in Oklahoma garnered just $16,500 in bids. One of the two Oklahoma parcels, which contained 1,360 of the 1,365 acres available for lease in the state, sold for just $2 per acre, the minimum amount BLM can legally accept.
Bids for parcels on federal land in New Mexico ranged from $38 per acre to $18,000 per acre and averaged nearly $3,000 per acre across all 14 parcels. The $3,000 per acre average in this lease sale lags the annual average bid for parcels in New Mexico for the past four years.
The next BLM New Mexico office lease sale is scheduled for February 2020.