BLM Awards Acreage in Arkansas, Michigan, and Mississippi

Eighty-three parcels of Federal land brought in $5,953,665.00 through a competitive auction of oil and gas leases on the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas, the Pere Marquette State Forest in Michigan, and the Bienville and Homochitto National Forests in Mississippi conducted by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Thursday, December 16, 2004, in Springfield, Virginia. Bonus bids, filing fees, and rental revenue amounting to $4,314,085.50 will go to the U.S. Treasury and $1,639,578.75 will be shared with the affected States.

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. Gary A. Monroe of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, paid $343,971.00 for a 1,423.44 acre parcel in Johnson County, Arkansas. There were 4 parcels in Johnson County, Arkansas, that received a bid of $270.00 per acre, 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 or 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 and royalty revenue from each lease that is issued in the affected state.

The quality of American life depends on stable, inexpensive, and readily available supplies of energy. Energy heats and cools our homes. It fuels our ambulances, fire trucks, ships, and airplanes. It powers the companies that create jobs and the agricultural economy that feeds our Nation and the world. Interior Department-managed land and water produce about 30 percent of our Nation's energy supply. Approximately, one-third of our natural gas, coal, and oil, one-half of geothermal, 17 percent of hydropower, and 10 percent of wind power are produced in areas managed by Interior.

The Department of the Interior is committed to implementing President George W. Bush's long-term strategy to produce traditional sources of energy on Federal land in an environmentally responsible way, and increase renewable energy production on Federal land, involving all interested persons in a careful and open process to meet the Nation's needs while protecting sensitive resources for future generations.

                      Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale

  State    # of Parcels    Acreage               Federal         State
           Offered/Sold    Offered/Sold          Revenue         Revenue

  AR       76/76           53,045.45/53,045.45   $4,285,520.25   $1,632,132.00

  MI       1/1             400.00/400.00         $6,450.00       $2,150.00

  MS       15/6            12,319.00/2,333.21    $15,890.25      $5,296.75

State revenue does not include a share of the $6225.00 in filing fees collected.