The Saskatchewan Bakken unconventional light oil play is being credited as a sale of drilling rights this week resulted in the second-highest bonuses ever paid in a June sale.

Petroleum and natural gas rights generated $46.2 million in revenue, taking the total for the 2010 calendar year to $276 million, well ahead of the $36 million at the same time in 2009.

"It looks like the June sale picked up where the April sale left off," said Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd in a news release.

"Not only was this the second-largest June sale ever, the average price per hectare was more than $1,200. Industry continues to place a premium on Saskatchewan oil and gas properties."

Bakken lands in the southeast accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total revenue.

"This remains our poster boy, although there was interest in other areas as well," Boyd said.

June's sale included six petroleum and natural gas exploration licences that sold for $21.4 million and 172 lease parcels that attracted $24.8 million in bonus bids.

The highest price for a single parcel was $10.4 million, bid by an agent company for a 1,912-hectare exploration licence near Corning, in southeast Saskatchewan.

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