Federal oil and gas lease sales return to regularity in Montana (copy)

BILLINGS — For the first time in several years, the federal government will have at least two oil and gas lease sales in Montana and North Dakota.

The Bureau of Land Management has scheduled a September lease sale for 25,759 acres, mostly in the north-central region of Montana. It’s been four years since BLM conducted more than one sale a year in the Montana-Dakota region.

Lease sales nationwide were suspended by President Joe Biden in early 2021. As a candidate, Biden campaigned on putting an end to onshore federal leasing. A court later reversed the executive order. Leases by law are to be quarterly. Quarterly sales are now returning under new rules created in the 2022 federal Inflation Reduction Act. 

BLM September Lease Sale Map

Though there wasn’t a Montana sale in March, there is one scheduled for June and BLM has a Dec. 5 sale on its calendar, but no details yet. The terms for lease sales have changed with higher royalties paid and a requirement that all sales be competitive.

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