BLM to auction more drilling rights on Pawnee National Grassland
For sale to the highest bidder: Thousands of acres of federally owned mineral rights in two southern Colorado counties and in the Pawnee National Grassland near the Colorado-Wyoming border.
Grassland-area drilling would only be allowed from private parcels adjacent to federal property, however.
The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said Friday it will offer at its November lease auction 19 parcels totaling 10,050 acres in three counties: Weld, Huerfano and Las Animas. The Weld County parcel is near Fort Morgan.
Also on the BLM’s auction block in November are 102 parcels owned by the U.S. Forest Service covering 79,487 acres of underground mineral rights within the Pawnee National Grassland in Weld County — a rolling area of Colorado’s eastern plains that is known internationally among bird watchers for the variety of wildlife that live in the area.
In May, the BLM sold leases to 25,215 acres o f mineral rights in the Pawnee National Grassland for $30.8 million.
The grassland area is part of Colorado’s big oil boom stemming from the Niobrara rock formation and other rock layers thousands of feet underground. The state has set records for oil production in the last few years, with much of the oil coming from new Weld County wells.