PRB Oil Drilling

An oil drilling site sits in the Powder River Basin. Wyoming netted about half the proceeds from a $2.6 million oil and gas lease sale of federal land last week.

Wyoming netted about $1.3 million from an oil and gas lease sale of federal land last week. Operators bidding in the relatively small auction Thursday paid a total of $2.6 million for Wyoming land, with about half of the proceeds going to the federal government.

The Bureau of Land Management offered 26 parcels in five southern counties, or about 32,000 acres.

Crow Creek Resources from Greenwood Village, Colorado, paid the highest price by far, at $3,142 per acre for 534 acres.

Southland Royalty Company from Fort Worth, Texas, also gathered leases at a price. Casper-based companies Kirkwood Oil and Gas and Bissell Oil Operating Co. took away bargains between $2 and $20 per acre.

Thursday’s results are modest compared with sales earlier in the year.

A February BLM sale in the Powder River Basin brought in $63 million, taking much of Wyoming by surprise. Watchers in the oil and gas community were enlivened by the Powder River Basin results, as they revealed both high interest from operators wanting to stake claims in Wyoming and openness from the federal land managers to lease for oil and gas development.

A state lease sale the following month showed the highest return since boom years, bringing in about $30 million to be split between the public school fund, public buildings and farm loans.

Both the Wyoming lease sales this year and the Bureau of Land Management’s sale were conducted online, bringing in a high number of bidders and pushing up the price for the most coveted acreage.

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Follow energy reporter Heather Richards on Twitter @hroxaner


Energy Reporter

Heather Richards writes about energy and the environment. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, she moved to Wyoming in 2015 to cover natural resources and government in Buffalo. Heather joined the Star Tribune later that year.

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