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Press Release



Onshore Oil & Gas Lease Sales Garner $256 Million for American Taxpayers in 2011


Sale revenue up 20% over 2010; 32 additional sales set for this year


01/10/2012

Contact: Adam Fetcher (DOI), 202-208-6416

WASHINGTON – Following a strong year in which leasing reform helped to lower protests and increase revenue from onshore oil and gas lease sales on public lands – resulting in a 20 percent increase in lease sale revenues over 2010 – the Interior Department will hold 32 additional sales in calendar year 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.

During calendar year 2011, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held 32 onshore oil and gas lease sales, offering 1,755 parcels of land covering nearly 4.4 million acres. 1,296 parcels of land were sold – nearly three-quarters of those offered – generating about $256 million in revenue for American taxpayers.

“This is an example of the power of a common-sense approach to growing America’s energy economy on public lands,” said Secretary Salazar. “The Obama Administration is moving ahead with a comprehensive energy plan for the country that is enhancing our energy security, creating jobs, and improving protections for our land, water and wildlife. Oil, gas, and coal continue to play an important part of our energy portfolio as we take steps to further reduce our dependence on foreign oil and expand the use of wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable resources.”

The 2011 lease sale figures are 20 percent higher than those in calendar year 2010, when 1,090 parcels sold, generating about $213 million. The largest sale in 2011 was the BLM’s July 12 auction in Billings, Mont., where 111 parcels covering 32,180 acres of public land (19,292 acres in North Dakota; 12,788 acres in South Dakota) brought in more than $66 million.

The BLM’s 32 oil and natural gas lease sales in calendar year 2012 will offer thousands of parcels in California, Colorado, the Eastern States, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The BLM conducts sales based on nominations received from industry that are evaluated to determine eligibility and availability for leasing before being delineated into individual parcels.

Today’s announcement reflects the Obama administration’s efforts to increase certainty for industry by reducing the conflict, litigation, and protests that have tied the nation’s oil and gas leasing program in knots for years.

When Secretary Salazar took office in January 2009, nearly half of parcels offered by the BLM for oil and gas development were protested, resulting in delays, extra costs, and court battles. By contrast, only 1 percent of leases were protested in 1998.

In response to this gridlock, in May of 2010, Secretary Salazar and Director Abbey undertook commonsense reforms to the leasing program that have resulted in fewer protests.

Since the reforms’ implementation, the number of protests has declined and the protests that are received can now be resolved more quickly. In fiscal year 2011, 36 percent of BLM’s oil and gas leases were protested – down from 47 percent in 2009.

These leasing reforms established a more orderly, open, and environmentally sound process for developing oil and gas resources on public lands. In an effort to reduce protests, the BLM is conducting planning, engaging the public, and evaluating environmental concerns earlier in the process. In areas where significant new oil and gas development is anticipated, the BLM now works with the public to develop Master Leasing Plans that help guide industry to lower-conflict areas for development.

“This year’s successful lease sales reflect this administration’s commitment to balanced and responsible development of America’s conventional and renewable energy resources,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “Our leasing policies ensure protection of important natural resources on BLM-managed lands, while at the same time aiding in orderly development of oil and natural gas deposits and reducing our dependence on imported oil.”

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2012 Calendar Year Oil and Gas Lease Sale Schedule
Subject to Change Without Notice
Check State Office Website Prior to Sale Date

OFFICE 
DATE
JANUARY  
New Mexico
Wednesday, January 18
Montana Tuesday, January 24
FEBRUARY  
Wyoming 
Tuesday, February 1
Colorado
Thursday, February 9
Utah    
Tuesday, February 21
MARCH  
Nevada
Tuesday, March 13
California 
Wednesday, March 14
Eastern States  
Thursday, March 15
APRIL  
New Mexico  Wednesday, April 18
MAY  
Wyoming
Tuesday, May 3
Montana
Tuesday, May 8
Colorado 
Thursday, May 10
Utah 
Tuesday, May 15
JUNE  
Nevada  
Tuesday, June 12
Eastern States
Thursday, June 14
JULY  
Montana
Tuesday, July 17
New Mexico
Wednesday, July 18
California
Wednesday, July 24
AUGUST  
Wyoming 
Tuesday, August 2
Colorado  Thursday, August 9
Utah 
Tuesday, August 21
SEPTEMBER  
Nevada
Tuesday, September 11
California
Wednesday, September 12
Eastern States  Thursday, September 13
OCTOBER  
New Mexico 
Wednesday, October 17
Montana Tuesday, October 23
NOVEMBER  
Wyoming
Tuesday, November 1
Colorado  
Thursday, November 10
Utah 
Tuesday, November 13
DECEMBER  
Nevada    Tuesday, December 11
Eastern States
Wednesday, December 13
California
Wednesday, December 14