BLM to offer leases to oil and gas operators in December | PostIndependent.com

BLM to offer leases to oil and gas operators in December

The Bureau of Land Management seeks public comment on a proposal to offer 28 parcels or 27,280 acres of federal minerals, nearly 5,000 acres of which is in Garfield County, in a competitive oil and gas lease sale at the end of the year.

"The most effective comments will address issues and concerns specific to these parcels being considered," BLM Grand Junction Field Manager Katie Stevens said in the press release.

While the majority of the land, 22,308 acres, is in Mesa County, the other 4,975 acres are in Garfield County near the western state border. Specifically, a majority of the land in the county is northwest of De Beque, while the other portion is north of Loma.

In Colorado, BLM conducts competitive sales to lease available oil and gas parcels every quarter. Lands available for oil and gas leasing must be nominated by interested parties to be in a sale. BLM then conducts an environmental assessment or Determination of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Adequacy (DNA) and gives the public a chance to weigh in on the proposal before coming to a final decision.

Just more than 800 acres of the 28 parcels in the proposal are privately owned, which means that the company that purchases the mineral lease will have to reach a surface use agreement with the landowner.

Lands with separate surface and mineral owners are known as split estates and are not uncommon in Colorado, according to BLM Public Affairs Specialist David Boyd.

While the sale is not until December, comments need to be received by BLM by June 9. They should be e-mailed to blm_co_december_2017_lease_sa@blm.gov, or mailed to the Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Dec 2017 Lease Sale, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, CO 81641.

The State of Colorado receives 49 percent of the proceeds from each mineral lease sale and from mineral royalties, with the remainder going to the U.S. government, according to the press release. In Fiscal Year 2015, Colorado received about $247 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas. Statewide, more than 22,900 jobs are tied to mineral and energy development on public lands.

Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that the entire comment — including personal identifying information — may be made publicly available at any time, states the press release.

Maps and lease stipulations are available for review at http://bit.ly/2qx0Mdo.