Last week, the Bureau of Land Management staged its first oil and gas lease sales in months, earning more than $ 8 million from drillers eyeing public lands primarily in New Mexico.
The BLM touts the revenue, but as Reuters reports, the auctions saw average bids well below pre-pandemic levels.
Land in Eddy County, New Mexico, in the Permian Basin attracted the highest bid in the auction per acre, more than $ 21,000, according to BLM documents. Last week’s sales also included public lands in Texas and Oklahoma.
Carl Larry, analyst at Oil Outlooks, says the BLM is probably doing this now to maintain domestic production so that we won’t be beholden to foreign interests when consumption rebounds. This matches the pressure from the Trump administration for more energy independence.
“It really supports the idea that we want to be, not only independent, but more independent,” Larry said.
Larry said lower interest rates and less fierce bids may actually attract more buyers and higher bids as rental sales continue.
Even though oil consumption does not fully rebound in the United States as more people work from home, Larry said the new production could now put the United States in a “driver’s seat” to capitalize on. the rebound in world markets.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in MT, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations in the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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