Energy Dominance: Department of Interior Breaks Previous Records for Oil and Gas Lease Sales


“In a testament to the Trump Administration’s America First Energy Plan, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) third-quarter oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico broke all previous records by grossing nearly $1 billion in bonus bids for 142 parcels,” the Department of Interior announced in a press release on September 6th.

The presser elaborates: “The two-day, online sale of parcels in the Carlsbad Field Office, located in southeastern New Mexico, easily outpaced what used to be the BLM’s largest sales year ever in 2008, which generated $408,631,537. Illustrating the robustness of the sale, 71 parcels (28,036 acres) were sold on day one, for total receipts of almost $386 million—more revenue than all BLM oil and gas leases sales combined in 2017, which was approximately $358 million.”

In addition to the record in total sales, “The first day of the sale also resulted in a national record for the highest bid for a single parcel, and the highest per-acre bid ever placed. The winning bid for a 1,240-acre parcel in Eddy County was $81,889 per acre, bringing in more than $101.5 million. The previous record for a single parcel was $76.7 million, set in September 2016 in New Mexico. The previous record for a per-acre bid was $40,001 set in New Mexico in December 2017.” 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had some choice words for critics who claim there is little or no interest in federal oil and gas leases. “Today they are eating their words and once again President Trump’s policies are bearing fruit for the American people.”

Federal oil and gas leases don’t just help ensure plentiful and affordable energy supplies for the American people. The BLM leasing program also helps states meet their fiscal responsibilities. Specifically: “Forty-eight 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.”