FILE - Oil pump in Nevada

Working oil pump in Nevada desert. 

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management brought in $171,921 for November oil and gas lease sales on federal land in Nevada.

Over 268,000 acres were offered in the lease sale, but 13,200 acres were bid on, the bureau said in a statement. The acreage was split into 156 parcels in Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties. 

The state of Nevada receives 50 percent of bonus bids and royalties for each lease, which last 10 years, and the federal government takes 12.5 percent in royalties from production on lease properties. 

“Oil and gas lease sales support domestic energy production and American energy independence,” the bureau said. “The BLM’s energy program includes an all-of-the-above approach that includes oil and gas, coal, strategic minerals and renewable sources, all of which can be developed on public lands.” 

Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group critical of federal energy leasing, called the Nevada lease sale “severely disappointing for federal taxpayers.” 

The group says oil and gas leases in Nevada have averaged $5.24 per acre in 2019, “compared to the average of $126.10/acre elsewhere in the continental U.S.” The November lease sale, however, averaged $11.38 per acre, the group noted. 

“Lease sales in October and November were similarly disappointing,” Taxpayers for Common Sense said. “These poor results are merely a symptom of a larger problem. The federal oil and gas system is broken.” 

Energy and mineral development on federal land in Nevada that’s managed by the U.S. Department of Interior – which includes BLM-managed land – contributed nearly $3.8 billion in added value to the state’s economy in 2018. 

In August, the BLM announced it sold 36 parcels containing 660 acres of public land for over $171.2 million, which would go toward funding other public land projects.

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.