The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it will hold competitive bidding for oil and gas industry leases on almost 550,000 acres of land in Nevada later this year.
The bidding will take place on Nov. 12, and 263 parcels totaling 547,969 will be offered. The bidding will take place online at www.energynet.com.
The parcels are located in Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties.
“Responsible energy development includes consideration of parcels nominated for leasing as well as potential resource impacts for each parcel,” the agency said, adding that environmental review takes place during the permitting application process, and each site can have differing conditions of approval.
The auction was criticized in a Facebook post by the Basin & Range Watch, a non-profit watchdog conservation group.
“These leases now go down to the Mojave Desert. This will result in several new and unnecessary roads on public lands,” the group said. “Oil reserves are broken and hard to find in Nevada so this is mostly speculative nonsense that will result in ground impacts and possibly hydrologic impacts from exploratory fracking.”
The BLM said that oil and gas development on public lands contributed $3.1 million to Nevada’s economy in 2018.
“Revenues from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands directly fund the U.S. Treasury, state budgets and support public education, infrastructure improvements, and other state-determined priorities,” the BLM said. “Nearly half the bid and rental receipts from lease sales go to the state of Nevada.”