Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

August 14, 2008 14:00 ET

Government of British Columbia: Land Rights Sales Continue to Bring Record Numbers

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2008) - The August sale of oil and gas rights has resulted in over $501 million in bonus bids and brings the fiscal year-to-date total to a new record of over $1.8 billion, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld announced today.

"The outstanding sales result for August once again demonstrates the economic value the oil and gas industry has for our province," said Neufeld. "We said in the BC Energy Plan that we would make B.C. among the most competitive oil and gas jurisdictions in North America, and this ongoing interest and investment confirms it."

The August sale offered 139 parcels in northeast B.C. covering 117,335 hectares, and sold 131 parcels covering 115,105 hectares. The average price per hectare was $4,359.

"These sales are a positive indication that B.C.'s leading environmental policies - which include legislation for a cap-and-trade system and the elimination of routine flaring at oil and gas producing wells - has provided a level playing field and certainty to industry," Neufeld added. "Revenue from these sales continues to fund vital social programs and infrastructure development incommunities throughout British Columbia."

Key parcels in the sale included:

- One drilling license located in the Groundbirch area, approximately 45 kilometres west of Dawson Creek, with a bid of over $25,000 per hectare, for a total of over $25.8 million.

- Six drilling licenses located in the Western Horn River Basin southeast of the Wildflower Field approximately 80 kilometres north of Fort Nelson with bids of between $9,200 and $13,000 per hectare, for a total of over $321.4 million.

- Two lease bids of over $5,100 per hectare for a total of approximately $2.7 million located just north of the Sunset Prairie area, approximately 25 kilometres south of Fort St. John.

Drilling licences provide the exclusive right to explore for petroleum and 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.

Leases provide the exclusive right to produce petroleum and natural gas and are acquired by the successful bidder at the Crown sale or selected from permits and drilling licences. Primary terms are five or 10 years, depending on location.

The next sale is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2008 and will offer 105 parcels covering 92,973 hectares.

Complete results of the sale and additional statistics are posted on the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources website:

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Contact Information

  • Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
    Jake Jacobs
    Public Affairs Officer
    (250) 952-0628 or Cell: (250) 213-6934