Trump administration gears up for latest U.S. oil drilling rights auction By Reuters

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pump Jacks at Sunset in Midland 2/2

By Nichola Groom (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Thursday will offer the oil and gas industry one last chance to secure federal acreage before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has pledged to ban new drilling on land. public. The US Bureau of Land Management will auction 37 parcels on 6,851 acres in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas through the online auction site EnergyNet. Most of the parcels are in New Mexico, overlapping parts of the extensive Permian Basin, the world’s largest oil field. The auction will reveal the level of demand for new leases from an industry facing an uncertain future for drilling on federal land, weak prices and depressed demand for fuel due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Federal drilling auctions, a critical part of President Donald Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda to maximize domestic fossil fuel production, have drawn increasingly weak interest this year due to the health crisis and prospects for a new American president ready to fight climate change. Biden has said he will stop new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, but has not established a method or timeline to achieve that goal. A study by the state of Wyoming discovered last month that such a ban would cost eight western states $ 8.1 billion in tax revenue and $ 34.1 billion in investment over the next five years. But auctions in Wyoming, Utah, and other states last month drew a tight supply, with major oil companies showing no -off- trumps-us-arctic-wildlife-refuge-auction-idUSKBN29B0KR totally for the first drilling lease sale last week at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Environmental, community and taxpayer groups have criticized the administration for maintaining oil and gas lease sales at a time of low prices, saying they are not generating adequate returns. “This lease sale is carried out under an antiquated system, which prioritizes the results of the oil and gas companies over New Mexico taxpayers,” said James Jimenez, director of the nonprofit New Mexico Voices. for Children, in a statement. BLM officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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