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Lawmakers: Oil and gas lease bids set North Dakota records

Oil and gas leasing bids submitted at a Bureau of Land Management auction reached record levels this week, according to a news release issued Thursday by Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer.

The Republican lawmakers from North Dakota said 40 federal leases in the state netted just more than $17.5 million in revenue. The bids cover 2,260 acres in the state.

According to the news release:

A record bid for the Montana/Dakotas region was set with a $34,000 per-acre and a record single-parcel bid of $5,049,000 was submitted for a 152-acre parcel.

Cramer and Hoeven authored the BLM Streamlining Act, signed into law last Dec. 26, improves the efficiency of processing federal oil and natural gas permits in North Dakota, making federal leases in the area more attractive as a result.

“We are experiencing a true energy renaissance in our nation right now, led by North Dakota. These record lease bids are just one more example of the tremendous energy work being done in our state,” Hoeven said.

Cramer said the bid shows the value of the state’s resources and the law helps local BLM officials better handle development from the leases.

“Leasing and royalty revenue can help reduce the deficit and be applied to better resource management,” Cramer said in the release.

Revenue from federal oil and gas leases, along with 12.5 percent royalties from the production of those leases, is shared between states and the federal government.