BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Developers have bought the oil and gas rights to about three-fourths of the available federal land in western North Dakota, pushing prices to record levels despite industry complaints that the federal permitting process is still too onerous to immediately develop the land.
Federal oil and gas lease sales in the Dakotas and Montana totaled $64.4 million in fiscal 2013, up from $50.1 million the year before, according to the Bureau of Land Management. North Dakota, which has led the three-state region in oil and gas leases for most of the past decade, accounted for the vast majority of sales – $61.4 million – which was up from $44.3 million in fiscal 2012.
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