According to the Calgary Herald, Alberta oil and gas producers have started 2011 with that province’s largest opening auction of conventional drilling rights in at least 15 years.
Results posted on the Alberta Energy website yesterday afternoon show the oilpatch spent $155 million on licences and leases covering 286,000 hectares at $543 per hectare.
Several multimillion-dollar bids were received.
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The highest was for $16.8 million or $6,600 per hectare for a 2,500-hectare licence to drill near Fox Creek.
Another cluster of high bids was made for a region north of Grande Prairie.
The sale total was more than three times the $46 million spent in the January auction last year, and continues a trend that resulted in sales last year delivering the highest ever payout to the provincial treasury of $2.4 billion.
That’s still slightly less than BC’s record total of $2.6 billion dollars in 2008, but was more than double BC’S 2010 total.
The first monthly sale of the year in this province is scheduled for next Wednesday, and advance reports indicate it will offer 25 parcels covering just over 32,000 hectares.