The BLM has responsibility for leasing the federally-owned minerals located in the 31 States east of and adjoining the Mississippi River and offers selected parcels at quarterly competitive auctions. Regulations require the bidding to open at $2 per acre. Seeco, Inc., of Fayetteville County, Arkansas, paid $7,000 for a 25-acre parcel. Their bid of $280 per acre was the highest per-acre bid of the auction.
Leases are awarded for a term of 10 years and as long thereafter as there is production of oil and gas in paying quantities. The Federal Government receives a royalty of 12 1/2 percent of the value of production. Also, each State Government receives a 25 percent minimum share of the bonus bid and the royalty revenue from each lease issued in that State.
The next competitive oil and gas lease sale is scheduled for June 17, 2004.
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