Oil and Gas Lease Sale in Montana, North Dakota Generates Relatively Low Revenue

AnalysisOil and Gas Lease Sale in Montana, North Dakota Generates Relatively Low RevenueThe Bureau of Land Management’s second lease sale of the week yields below-average results

Energy & Natural Resources,  | Analysis
Aug 1, 2019  | 1 min read | Print Article

In its second sale of the week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency within the Department of the Interior responsible for oil and gas development on federal lands, offered 34 parcels in Montana and North Dakota for lease through live auction. (Analysis of the first sale in Nevada is available here.) Like past sales in the region, North Dakota parcels located in the productive Bakken Formation attracted significant competition, while the Montana acreage generated little revenue.

In total, the BLM Montana-Dakotas office offered and sold 34 parcels, covering roughly 9,500 acres of federal land. The 19 parcels in North Dakota containing just 1,792 acres sold for $1.54 million, or roughly $860/acre on average. That’s below average compared to the last 13 sales for parcels in North Dakota dating back to 2012.

Meanwhile, the 15 parcels on offer covering 7,645 acres in Montana generated a total of $133,000 in bids, or $9.19/acre on average. That’s the third worst result in the last 13 lease sales in Montana, and half the average bid of $18.27/acre recorded in 2018. Including administrative fees and first year’s rent for each parcel, which is due at the end of the auction, the BLM collected $1.64 million through the sale a relatively paltry sum for acreage sold.

Map of available parcels in the BLM’s July oil and gas lease sale in Montana and North Dakota | Source: EnergyNet.com