Friday, October 24, 2014

Idaho leases thousands more acres for oil and gas development

The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) auctioned oil and gas leases for 5,238.76 acres of State owned lands and minerals Oct. 15 in Boise.

The auction generated $263,229 in bonus bids for the State endowment trusts that support Idaho's public school system, Idaho State University, State Juvenile Corrections Center, State Hospital North, Idaho State Veterans Homes, and the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind.

The leases were for 600 acres in Cassia County; 4,478.76 acres in Owyhee County; and 160 acres in Gem County.

Trendwell West, Inc., was awarded leases on eight tracts for $190,000 in bonus bids, and AM Idaho, LLC was awarded leases on three tracts for $73,229 in bonus bids.

The average bid was approximately $46 per acre.

The highest competitive bid was $105 per acre on approximately 638 acres located in Owyhee County. The lease sold for $67,871.

With this auction, the total amount of State owned lands and minerals leased for oil and gas development is more than 97,900 acres. In 2014 alone, IDL held oil and gas lease auctions for more than 31,600 acres of State owned land and minerals, and generated more than $2.1 million in revenue for the State of Idaho.

Increased leasing activity is an indication of greater interest in developing the resource. Thousands more acres of privately owned lands and minerals are leased for oil and gas development.

All of the mineral rights auctioned for oil and gas leases are owned by the State endowment trust. Lands and minerals owned by the State endowment trust are managed under a constitutional mandate to generate maximum long-term income for public schools and other specific State beneficiaries.

Sixteen wells in Idaho are drilled and ready for development or already in development. The next auction for State oil and gas leases is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2015.

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