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BLM sells land for record-high per-acre price

The Bureau of Land Management Montana/Dakota office sold land for a record-high $34,000-per-acre bid at an auction Tuesday. Williston-based Diamond Resources Co. submitted the bid for a 53-acre parcel in Mountrail County.

Diamond Resources also submitted the highest single-parcel bid of $5,049,000 for a 152-acre parcel, also in Mountrail County.

“There is no doubt that the oil and gas boom continues in North Dakota with record setting sales like this for federal leases,” BLM Montana/Dakotas State Director Jamie Connell said in a release. “We are pleased to see this level of federal funding generated from America’s world class resource.”

The leases are for 10 years and as long after that as there is production in paying quantities. Revenues from the sales of leases, plus 12.5 percent in royalties, go to the federal government and the states.

Overall, Tuesday’s auction, in Billings, Mont., netted more than $17.5 million from the sale of 2,261 acres of North Dakota land.

In a press release, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer touted their BLM Streamlining Act law, which was signed into law Dec. 26 and improves the efficiency of processing federal oil and natural gas permits.

“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 in the release.

“Our BLM Streamlining Act is helping to make the leasing and permitting process more efficient on federal lands in our state. This is just one way we’re working to achieve our goal of true energy independence.”