Analisa Romano
aromano@greeleytribune.com

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June 24, 2013
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Weld County gets $1.7 million for mineral leases

Weld County leased mineral rights for more than 1,000 acres on Monday morning, filling county coffers with another $1.7 million from the oil and gas industry.

That brings the net total for oil and gas lease-related revenue up to $5.3 million so far this year, a number on track to meet last year’s $12.9 million.

In addition to the actual leases, which allow companies to explore county-owned land for oil and natural gas, the county benefits from royalties on production, if exploration proves fruitful, and rental fees.

Starting with leases approved on Monday, royalties for the county were boosted to 25 percent and rental fees to $2.50 per acre per year — up from 20 percent and $1 per acre last year, thanks to commissioners’ request for a code change currently in the hearing process, said Esther Gesick, Weld County’s deputy clerk to the board. Commissioners are also proposing increases to fees associated with the leases, she said.

Two companies — Bonanza Creek Energy Operating Co., LLC, and Illinois-based Ironhorse Resources, LLC — bid on four mineral leases on public land at Monday’s auction. Bonanza took three of the four leases, including the highest and lowest bids at $2,750 per acre and $600 per acre, respectively.

This is the third auction the county has hosted this year. In February, Weld garnered more than $235,000 for three leases. In April, an auction was also held but no companies made a bid.

There is no requirement for the county to hold a certain number of auctions, but officials say they normally hold two per year. Last year, Weld had a record spring in mineral leases, finishing out the year with $7.07 million from three auctions.

The money from mineral lease auctions goes to the county’s general fund. Commissioners decide how to allocate it, although they often dedicate the money to compensating for the wear and tear that county roads get from oil and gas traffic.


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My Windsor Now Updated Jun 25, 2013 11:57PM Published Jun 28, 2013 05:10PM Copyright 2013 My Windsor Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.