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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be offering 78,691 acres in Colorado in the quarterly oil and gas lease sale on September 26, just as Colorado is passing major overhauls in the rules regulating the oil and gas industry in the state.
In the oil and gas lease at the end of September, the BLM is offering 83 parcels in the Royal Gorge, Kremmling, Little Snake, and White River field offices in Cheyenne, Kiowa, Weld, Garfield, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt counties.
BLM’s sale notice initiates a 30-day public protest period that ends on August 26, 2019, the bureau said in a statement.
Oil and gas development on BLM-managed lands in Colorado contributed an estimated US$6.9 billion to the economy in the fiscal year 2018, the BLM said, noting that the state gets 48 percent of proceeds from each lease sale, while the rest goes to the U.S. Government.
“The BLM continues to work with the State of Colorado to ensure responsible energy development through thoughtful consideration of parcels nominated for leasing and potential resource impacts of decisions to lease in identified big game habitat,” it said.
The oil and gas lease sale comes months after the state of Colorado moved to overhaul its oil and gas regulations by allowing local communities a greater say over drilling operations, including permitting, zoning, and setback distances.
In mid-April, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed the bill into law.
Dan Haley, President and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, said, commenting on the new law:
“SB 181 is the most comprehensive oil and natural gas legislation Colorado has seen in decades. While we appreciated and supported a few critical amendments that were added to address some of our concerns and that provide a degree of certainty for our member companies, we still oppose the legislation.”
Colorado, which has seen its oil production more than quadruple since 2010, thanks to fracking, is also considering more stringent controls over the oil and gas industry in order to fight air pollution—a topic which could rekindle debates in the state.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.