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British Columbia gets $760 million YTD for land sales

By Oil & Gas Financial Journal staff

In August, the Canadian province of British Columbia sold $98 million in bonus bids in its natural gas and oil mineral rights sale, bringing the calendar year total to more than $760 million.

“This sale, like others this year, is larger than predicted and is more evidence of the confidence the international investment community has in British Columbia's natural gas and petroleum resources,” said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bill Bennett. “This confidence, matched with our rich resources, is powering our economic recovery, creating good jobs for families and revenues for government.”

The Aug. 25 sale offered 81 parcels in northeast British Columbia, 34,349 hectares, and sold 68 parcels covering 31,052 hectares. The average price per hectare for this sale is approximately $3,160.

The key parcels in the sale included:
· Two drilling licences in the Kiwigana River area, 70 km northwest of Fort Nelson, with bids of $5,780 and $9,859 per hectare for a total of over $64 million.
· Twenty-two leases in the Blueberry area, 80 km northwest of Fort St. John, with bids ranging between $2,566 and $5,137 per hectare for a total of over $27 million.

Drilling licences provide the exclusive right to explore for natural gas by drilling wells. They are acquired by the successful bidder at the Crown Sale, and primary terms are three, four, or five years, depending on location.

So far this year, most of the parcels sold are in areas with shale gas potential or coalbed methane potential. Results from the Sept. 22 sale have not been made available to the public.

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