Montana Gov. Gianforte, DNRC Announce Record-Setting $1.2 Million Oil And Gas Lease Sale
HELENA, MT (STL.News) Along with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a record-setting oil and gas lease sale on state trust lands, netting $1,187,194 from the first quarter of 2022.
“Ramping up American-made energy in Montana is one of many ways to reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Additionally, proceeds from these oil and gas lease sales will benefit our schools, ensuring our kids have access to the best education possible.”
Approved by the State Board of Land Commissioners this morning, this sale represents the most revenue from a sale since 2014.
It also ranks as the seventh highest average bid price per acre in the history of oil and gas lease sales on state trust lands.
The first quarter sale included 36 tracts in Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Toole, and Valley counties.
The record-setting sale and number of bids can be attributed to holding the lease sale for the first time in an online auction format through Energy Net.
Modernizing state government to better serve Montanans and responsibly developing Montana’s abundant natural resources are among the governor’s top priorities which he outlined in his Montana Comeback Plan.
“Our Trust Lands Management Division took to heart Governor Gianforte’s goal to reduce red tape across state government. Moving sales to an online format allows more bidders to participate in auctions, increasing competition and bid amounts,” DNRC Director Amanda Kaster said.
Funds generated by leases on state trust lands contribute to the education fund for the state. Oil and gas leases are comprised of a set annual leasing fee per acre, plus a one-time competitive bid, known as the bonus amount. If the leases are developed and produce oil, they generate additional royalty revenues.
DNRC manages state trust lands, including the auction of oil and gas leases. The next oil and gas lease sale taking place in June has 179 nominated tracts. Details on the sale and oil and gas leasing can be found on the DNRC website at http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/trust/minerals-management.