The December sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights has brought in $20.8 million in revenue for the province, with the Weyburn-Estevan area receiving the most bids.


Total land sale revenue for the 2011 calendar year amounted to $248.8 million, making 2011 the fourth-best on record for land sale revenues.


"We're pleased by the strong interest companies expressed in the parcels on offer in the December sale," Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said. "We've seen a trend in the latter part of the year of companies concentrating on working the assets they have already acquired.


"Our drilling numbers, especially those for horizontal wells, continue to track well ahead of last year's pace and the demand for drilling and service rigs remains higher here than in Alberta and British Columbia. This activity and these recent land acquisitions bode well for an industry that helps drive our economy and which invests more than $4 billion into exploration and development work each year."


December's sale included 212 lease parcels that attracted $20.3 million in bonus bids and three petroleum and natural gas exploration licences that sold for $486,000.


The Weyburn-Estevan area received the most bids with sales of $13.2 million. The Lloydminster area was next at $4.1 million, followed by the Kindersley-Kerrobert area at $2 million and the Swift Current area at $1.5 million.


The total bonus received in the Weyburn-Estevan area was $13.2 million, an average of $648.49/hectare ($262.44/acre). This compares to $3.3 million, an average of $488.52/hectare at the last sale.


Top purchaser for this area was Villanova Oil Corp., who spent $2.7 million to aquire 13 lease parcels. The highest price for a single parcel was $905,000. Villanova Oil Corp. acquired this 259-hectare lease parcel east of Estevan.


Top price paid for a single licence in this area was $325,566.78 paid by Prairie Land & Investment Services Ltd. for a 904.88 hectare block offering deeper rights beneath the Tatagwa Midale Beds Pool, 30 kilometres southwest of Weyburn.


The highest price on a per-hectare basis was $7,878. Midale Petroleums Ltd. bid $255,000 for a 32-hectare lease parcel southeast of Oxbow.


An oil shale special exploratory permit block on offer east of Nipawin received a work commitment bid of $2 million from Prairie Land & Investment Services Ltd.

The next sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas dispositions will be held on February 6, 2012.

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