FILE - Gas well BLM lease Colorado

A natural gas well pad in front of the Roan Plateau near the Colorado community of Rifle, in Garfield County. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, that they will do another environmental analysis of drilling on Colorado's Roan Plateau looking at a range of options, including revoking existing oil and natural gas leases. 

Nearly 80,000 acres in Colorado will be available for oil and gas development through lease sale later this year.

The sales could mean a windfall of revenue for the state of Colorado, which receives 48 percent of the bureau’s individual lease sales.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said that 83 parcels totaling 78,691 acres will be offered on lease sale for oil and gas development. The parcels will be available on online bidding Sept. 26, 2019.

“Lease sales support the agency’s multiple-use mission to manage public lands through environmentally responsible development,” the BLM said in a statement. “These lease sales strengthen domestic energy production and contribute to the country’s energy security.”

Parcels that will be offered are located in Cheyenne, Kiowa, Weld, Garfield, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties, the BLM said.

Over 69,000 acres were deferred from the Greater Sage-Grouse habitat, and the leases will last 10 years. The BLM offers oil and gas lease sales every quarter.

Both the BLM and state have drawn significant revenue from land lease sales. Last year, BLM sold 103 parcels containing almost 68,000 acres for $5.7 million. 

Oil and gas development on BLM-managed land brought in $6.9 billion to the state’s economy last year, BLM added. Over 30,000 Colorado jobs in the oil and gas industry are on developments on public lands managed by the BLM.

Sierra Club of Colorado in the past has opposed similar BLM land lease sales, but could not be reached on Monday.

Public comment on the September lease sale is open until Aug. 26, 2019.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.