Today, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of land Management (BLM) conducted an oil and gas lease sale in the state of Nevada. The BLM is responsible for oversight of the federal oil and gas program, and conducts quarterly lease sales throughout the US. Like the vast majority of BLM auctions in Nevada, the results of today’s lease sale were disappointing for federal taxpayers.
The Nevada lease sale offered 11 plots of land (known as parcels) covering over 15,000 acres. While all 11 parcels on offer received bids during the sale, the returns were minimal. A total of seven parcels, comprising nearly 10,500 acres, received bids of $2 per acre, the legal minimum the BLM can accept. Put another way, taxpayers received the minimum amount of revenue for 64% of the acreage leased during the sale. The highest bids from the sale were just $9 per acre. In total, taxpayers received $63,382 in winning bids for the roughly 15,000 available acres, which averages to just $4.10 per acre.