Weld County cashes in on oil and gas leases, including potential record price per mineral acre | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld County cashes in on oil and gas leases, including potential record price per mineral acre

Tyler Silvy
tsilvy@greeleytribune.com

Weld County commissioners on Monday agreed to lease more than 700 acres of mineral rights during a bidding process, including the highest known bid per mineral acre in county history.

Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. had a winning bid of $12,550 per mineral acre for 320 acres in Weld, translating to a $4 million bid.

The company also bid $3,000 per acre for another 320 acres, or $960,000.

Finally, Morning Gun Exploration bid $960 per mineral acre for 66.9 acres, or $64,293.

The bids are treated as one-time bonuses, and leases run for three years at $2.50 per acre. If production begins within the three years, the energy company holds the lease as long as there is production, Weld County Finance Director Don Warden said in an email.

Weld has nearly 2.6 million acres of land and owns 40,000 mineral acres, the result of county acquisitions during the Dust Bowl. When the land was re-sold, the county kept the mineral rights, county officials said.

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The county earned about $5 million from the 707 acres leased Monday.

Warden said the highest price per acre, he remembers is about $10,000 meaning the $12,550 Bonanza bid, which grew by several thousand dollars during the bidding process, marks the highest known bid by a large margin.

— Tyler Silvy covers city and county government for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at tsilvy@greeleytribune.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.

By the numbers

$5 million — Amount Weld County earned from the lease of mineral rights Monday.

707 — Number of acres leased.

$7,072 — Average price per mineral acre

$12,550 — Price per mineral acre of one lease, thought to be the highest price, per mineral acre, in Weld County history.

40,000 — Number of mineral acres Weld County owns

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