The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently reported that oil and natural gas lease sales produced more than $1.1 billion in 2018, shattering the previous record of $408 billion in 2008. The revenue was generated by 28 sales amounting to around 1,412 parcels of land and covering about 1.5 million acres. The BLM offers lease sales for areas that have completed environmental review and public comment and are made available for the exploration and development of oil and natural gas. States earn 48% of lease sale revenues while the U.S. Treasury receives the other 52%. States also receive half of all revenues gained from royalties in areas where oil and natural gas is produced.

This news follows steps taken by the BLM early last year to reverse several oil and gas leasing reform regulations put into place during the Obama Administration. This includes the BLM now opting to defer to state laws when possible in order to avoid duplicative protocols.

These record-breaking lease sales are almost certainly helping to boost domestic production of oil and natural gas. The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced last month in a statistical report that the United States is currently producing unprecedented amounts of oil.