BLM defers three parcels in county from Nov. 13 oil and gas lease sale

The Bureau of Land Management is deferring the leasing of oil and gas exploration rights on three parcels of land with split-estate ownership in Archuleta County. (Split-estate occurs when the surface is owned by a private party and the underlying minerals are owned by the Federal government or another party.)

The parcels were part of a larger group of parcels throughout Colorado that BLM will offer for lease at its lease sale on Nov. 13. The deferral was requested by the Archuleta County Commissioners, and will be for 90 days. The parcels, comprising a total of 2,721 acres, will be available for leasing at BLM’s February 2009 lease sale.

BLM is deferring the leasing action to provide time to conduct additional community outreach and education. BLM will work with the county commissioners to schedule and conduct a public open house with presentations, question-and-answer sessions, and other information relating to oil and gas leasing, exploration, permitting and other topics.

The open house will be scheduled in mid-December, with the place, date and time to be announced soon.

The BLM posts notices of upcoming oil and gas lease sales and reviews comments and protests from the public prior to lease sales. Based on public input, the BLM can choose to offer the parcels, defer them for additional analysis, or offer protested parcels with a notice to lessees that the parcels are under protest.

Whether or not areas are available for oil and gas leasing, and under what conditions, is determined by BLM Resource Management Plans, which are prepared with public involvement and environmental analysis.

For more information, contact Matt Janowiak, (970) 385-1378.