WASHINGTON, D.C.― In advancing the administration’s goals of promoting America’s energy independence, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state offices in 2017 generated nearly $360 million from oil and gas lease sales, an 86 percent increase over the previous year’s results of $192.5 million.
Among these sales, which together were the highest in nearly a decade, rights to a total of 949 parcels, covering 792,823 acres, were sold.
“Oil and gas lease sales on public land directly support domestic energy production and the President’s energy dominance and job growth priorities for America,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “2017 was a big year for oil and gas leasing on federal lands, and these sales provide critical revenue and job growth in rural America. We will continue to work into the next year to identify and modify unnecessary regulations that impede responsible energy development.”
“These results are hard proof that our sound energy policy is working for both public lands and Americans in terms of reliable power and job growth opportunities,” said Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs. “Going into the new year, we remain committed to an era of American energy dominance through our multiple-use mission that ensures opportunities for commercial, recreational, and conservation activities on healthy and productive public lands.”
Bonus bids from oil and gas leasing in calendar year 2017 came to $358,036,988 in preliminary figures released today by the BLM. This is the highest grossing sale year since 2008, when bonus bids came to $408,631,537. This year’s sales also easily outpaced last year’s sales of $192,482,007.
BLM New Mexico had the largest sale of the year, generating approximately $130.9 million in bonus bids Sept. 7, while a BLM Wyoming sale Feb. 7, generated $128.9 in total bonus bids. In 2017, the BLM conducted 28 lease sales around the nation, exhibiting the Bureau’s ongoing commitment to facilitate domestic energy production on public lands and let the free market do its work. In 2016, the BLM held 20 onshore oil and gas lease sales.
Fifty percent of the revenue from lease sales goes to the state where the oil and gas activity is occurring, while the rest goes to the U.S. Treasury. If the leases result in producing oil or gas wells, revenue from royalties based on production are also shared with the state.
A bonus bid is a one-time payment in exchange for exclusive access to explore a parcel and grants an exclusive lease for a set period of time. The BLM awards oil and gas leases for a term of 10 years and as long thereafter as there is production of oil and gas in paying quantities.
The BLM is a key contributor to the Trump Administration’s America First Energy Plan, which is an all-of-the-above plan that includes oil and gas, coal, strategic minerals, and renewable sources such as wind, geothermal, and solar – all of which can be developed on public lands.
In fiscal year 2016, oil and gas development on BLM-managed lands supported 201,000 jobs nationwide and contributed more than $42 billion in output to the U.S. economy.