Denver, CO

Denver company highest bidder in $1.2m BLM oil, gas lease sale

Matt Whittaker

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A drill rig in Wyoming.Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The Bureau of Land Management sold three parcels for oil and gas development in Colorado for $1.2 million this month, the bureau’s Lakewood-based Colorado office said Thursday.

DPOC, a company linked to Denver-headquartered oil and gas firm Mallard Exploration, spent $10,002 per acre for a 120-acre parcel in Weld County, making it the highest bidder in the federal lease sale, the bureau said.

Mallard’s chief financial officer, also listed as the registered agent with DPOC, didn’t return a phone call seeking clarity on how the two companies, which share an address, are related. 

In the oil and gas industry, it’s common for leasing companies to be different than those that end up developing and operating wells, said Shawn Reed, a petroleum engineer with Denver-based Reed Energy Consulting.

Leaseholders can sell leases outright to other companies to develop wells, or they may retain royalty interests, he said. 

Two other parcels in the BLM’s Colorado lease sale went for much less than the Weld County acreage.

Robert Bayless LLC paid $3 an acre for 90.65 acres in Rio Blanco County, and an individual named Glenn Gaven leased 80 acres in Jackson County for $4 an acre, Colorado BLM spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said. 

Three other parcels in Colorado didn’t receive any bids, Shedlowski said. Lands that do not receive a bid and are not subject to a presale offer are available on a first-come, first-served basis for two years beginning the day after the sale.

Weld County is by far Colorado’s most prolific fossil fuel production area. So far this year, it has produced more than 44 million barrels of oil and more than 322 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission data. 

This month, the commission approved plans from Denver-based PDC Energy to develop 99 wells in Weld County.

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Matt Whittaker writes about natural resources industries, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture and cannabis. He's been based in the Denver metro area since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mattswhittaker.

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