For the first time in more than a year, the Bureau of Land Management will hold an oil and gas lease sale in Montana this June, with 10 parcels nominated in the far eastern part of the state.
BLM announced the June 28 lease sale on Monday. The public land parcels are spread across Fallon, Powder River, Richland, and Roosevelt counties. Another 13 parcels are in North Dakota.
Combined, the acres offered between the two states are 3,405.8. BLM had announced the resumption of oil and gas lease sales in nine states, mostly in the West, with 144,000 total acres up for lease. The area is only 20% of what was expected. The scaled-down sale, combined with an increased royalty rate of 18.75%, up from 12.5% received some praise from environmentalists, but angered politicians.
“Today’s announcement is good news. It shows that Secretary (Debra) Haaland and her team at Interior are listening to Westerners and working in the best interest of taxpayers. By limiting the upcoming sale to areas with existing oil and gas infrastructure, Interior will prevent speculators from locking up public lands with little or no potential for future production,” said Aaron Weiss, Center for Western Priorities deputy director in a