Colorado BLM to offer energy leases on 133,000 acres |

Colorado BLM to offer energy leases on 133,000 acres

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Federal oil and gas leases on about 133,000 acres, including more than 96,000 acres of national forest land, will be offered for sale in Colorado in February.

The Bureau of Land Management will offer leases on 120 parcels in its quarterly auction Feb. 12. The parcels are in 16 counties, including 39,239 acres in Montrose County and 16,397 acres in La Plata County.

None of the leases up for bid on forest land is in roadless areas, federal officials said Tuesday.

Federal officials are considering a Colorado plan to protect 4.4 million acres of national forest land declared off limits to development by the Clinton administration. The fate of roadless areas across the country is in limbo as lawsuits challenging the Clinton-era rule and one by the Bush administration are considered by federal courts.

About 29,000 acres of the parcels are split-estate, meaning the federal government owns the minerals and someone else owns the surface. Companies that own or lease the minerals have the right to reasonable use of the surface to extract the oil or gas.

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