Rio Blanco County oil and gas parcels leased

A Windsor, Colo., company Thursday paid $543,813 for U.S. Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases for some 1,609 acres in Rio Blanco County, where deep snow prevented thousands of other acres from being offered for leasing.

The highest per-acre bid in the Colorado BLM’s quarterly lease sale was $390 for 649 acres, sold to Treasure Resources Inc. The company also won the lease for a 960-acre parcel.

Forty-nine percent of the sale revenue goes to the state of Colorado. The rest goes to the federal government.

The BLM intended to offer 7,045 acres Thursday, almost all of it in Rio Blanco County. However, it pulled 10 parcels from the sale because the areas involved had so much snow that agency officials couldn’t do on-the-ground reviews to determine whether they should be leased.

The parcels will be evaluated as conditions allow for possible inclusion in a future lease sale.

The BLM already had deferred 24,611 other acres, mostly in Rio Blanco County, from Thursday’s sale, to consider things such as protection of greater sage-grouse, evaluation of possible roadless characteristics and compliance with new national BLM policy to identify and protect lands of a wilderness nature.

The parcels leased Thursday are in the vicinity of the Piceance and Rio Blanco Lake state wildlife areas west of Meeker. BLM and Colorado Division of Wildlife officials said the parcels don’t appear to be within the wildlife areas.


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