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The June sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights has raised $10.5 million in revenue for the province, with the Weyburn-Estevan area earning nearly half the total.

The sale, the third for 2012, brings year-to-date revenue from land sales to $55.6 million.

Minister responsible for Energy and Resources Tim McMillan said June land sales are historically quieter in terms of industry interest and number of hectares on offer and that companies used this week's sale to add to their large existing land inventories.

"What we're seeing right now from oil companies is a focus on working the dispositions they currently have," McMillan said. "That's reflected in the level of drilling activity so far in 2012. Last year was our second-best year for oil well drilling and a record year for horizontal oil well drilling. We're ahead of the pace on both counts so far this year, and that activity helped us set an all-time record for monthly oil production in March.

"While we're not witnessing new large-scale land acquisitions right now, the industry is very busy, and all indicators are pointing to a banner year for investment and activity in Saskatchewan's oil fields."

June's sale included 133 lease parcels that brought in $9.4 million in bonus bids and three petroleum and natural gas exploration licences that sold for $1.1 million.

The Weyburn-Estevan area received the most bids with sales of $4 million. The Lloydminster area was next at $2.65 million, followed by the Swift Current area at $2.64 million and the Kindersley-Kerrobert area at $1.2 million.

The highest price for a single parcel was $782,957. Sandstone Land & Mineral Company Ltd. acquired this 1,036-hectare exploration licence southwest of Fox Valley.

The highest price on a per-hectare basis was $14,017. Standard Land Company Inc. bid $226,931 for a 16-hectare lease parcel north of Loverna.

The next sale of Crown petroleum and natural gas dispositions will be held on August 13, 2012.

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