Through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Trump administration raised for New Mexico $3,132,946 on an oil and gas bid sale this Thursday, the institution informed.
This auction takes place just a week before elections, which may define the United States’ energy future. According to the BLM, the auction came by “the Trump Administration’s goal of promoting responsible energy development.”
Nearly 50% of the amount raised will go to New Mexico, while the other half will go to the U.S. treasury, according to the report.
There were 11 parcels auctioned, totaling 7,730 acres in the bid. The highest amount per acre was sold to Federal Abstract Company with a total amount of $11,353 for 294 acres in Eddy County, New Mexico.
“The BLM awards oil and gas leases for a term of 10 years and as long as there is production of oil and gas in paying quantities.”, BLM underlines. Concluding that if the parcels result in actual oil and gas production, the revenue from royalties will have to be split between the state and the federal treasury.
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New Mexico lands in the middle of election
As Reuters reports, drilling in federal land is a crucial segment of Trump’s administration, that it’s trying to exploit every opportunity to maximize domestic production. Sales are conducted under the Trump Administration’s America First Energy Plan, which has oil and gas production as its priority.
However, if democrat candidate Joe Biden wins, all drillings in public lands would be banned as a plan to fight climate change and reduce U.S’s carbon footprint.
Given this promise, Biden’s win would represent a setback for drillers and cast doubts upon the holder’s capacity to actually drill the lands.
Today’s sale is being criticized by environmentalists and market experts. They think drilling this New Mexico area would affect tourism and the nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
On the other hand, market watchers question Trump’s decision to bid the lands in the middle of a crisis in the industry, still struggling with poor returns and plunging prices.