The Bureau of Land Management sold most of the parcels it offered in today’s auction of oil and gas drilling leases in eastern Utah, but there was a lot of land taken off the table before it began.
The agency sold 29 of the 35 parcels it offered for just over $3.3 million dollars. More than half of that, $1.8 million, was bid for a single 183-acre parcel in Uintah County. All the leases are in areas of eastern Utah where oil and gas development are going on, but Megan Crandall with the BLM says that’s no guarantee bidders will be interested.
Crandall told KUER, “We have had parcels that have come up in other areas where there is currently energy development, and those parcels, in some cases, have not sold.”
Last week, the BLM withdrew almost 100-thousand acres from this auction, earning applause from environmentalists who say that will help to protect the scenic San Rafael Swell in eastern Utah. Utah’s Congressional delegation and industry representatives called that decision a sellout to special interests.