South County Oil and Gas Rights: Going, Going, Gone
September 15, 2011
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management auctioned the rights to oil and gas in Monterey and Fresno counties yesterday for more than $250,000, even after environmental groups protested the sale and tried to stop BLM from proceeding.
The controversial 2,343-acre parcel in Monterey County, scaled back from an original 3,500 acres, went for about $24/acre to the highest bidder, Neil Ormond. Ormond, of Clovis, is registered as the California agent of Austin, TX-based Vinton Exploration, LLC. Vinton engages only in exploration, not production of active oil fields.
Having secured the rights to the land does not guarantee that exploration will occur; an operator would have to request use permits to proceed with any drilling.
The highest-value parcel in the BLM sale, 200 acres located in Fresno County, sold for $900/acre to Vintage Production California LLC of Bakersfield. Colorado-based Lone Tree Energy also leased a Fresno County parcel.
Another 120 acres in Monterey County that received no bids is still available for lease.