The State Land Board offers oil and gas leases by competitive auction. Auctions typically take place in February, May, August, and November each year.
Auctions occur online, through EnergyNet. To participate in the auction, pre-registration with EnergyNet is required.
Anyone can nominate state minerals for auction to obtain an oil and gas lease.
- Leases are awarded to the highest bidder on a per acre basis.
- The minimum bid amount per acre is the annual lease rental rate.
- Bids made above the annual rental rate are referred to as the Lease Bonus and are collected, with the first-year rental and buyer’s premium, as a one-time payment made to EnergyNet at the close of the auction.
Oil and gas lease stipulations
Our oil and gas lessees must:
- Comply with all local, state, and federal regulations.
- Obtain necessary local, state, and federal permits.
- Follow our site-specific stewardship stipulations. Violating stewardship stipulations may result in lease termination.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is the regulatory agency for oil and gas development in the State of Colorado. The State Land Board is a separate agency from the COGCC. Our agency and our lessees are subject to the same local, state, and federal rules and requirements as any private land owner.
Here are lots of commonly asked questions about our oil and gas leasing process and auctions.
No. Currently the State Land Board only auctions oil and gas leases through online auction, but is considering offering additional mineral leases (such as solid minerals) through this process.
The State Land Board considers lease proposals on any mineral interest. The Minerals section is split between mining (solid minerals) and other activity (oil and gas). View mining-related applications. For other activities related to minerals, please scroll below to the ‘forms’ section.
The State Land Board owns roughly 4 million mineral acres throughout the state. These lands can be viewed through our GIS map server. To use the map server to locate available minerals:
- Turn on the mineral ownership layer in the “Layers” box on the right of your screen. Mineral ownership is under “SLB Ownership”
- Turn on “SLB Leases” by clicking in the box. Then click on the “+”, scroll down to Oil & Gas and turn on “Oil and Gas - Active”.
- Click on the area you are interested in nominating; an “Identify” box will pop up and contain ownership information as well as active oil and gas lease information. If there is no oil and gas lease information, the tract is, most likely, not currently leased and is available for nomination. There may be multiple records to click through - keep an eye out for “Features” on both the Lease tab and Ownership tab that will tell you how many records exist.
A nomination may not be available if there is an active gas storage lease, coal lease, or disposal well lease. Tracts nominated in the Stewardship Trust may also be removed or pushed back to a later auction date for further review. If you need assistance determining whether a tract is available for nominating, please contact Sherry Lee, Resource Extraction Technician, at 303-866-3454 ext. 3322.
Nominations are due 120 days prior to the auction date. Nominations and payment are now accepted exclusively through the State Land Board’s customer portal. Submit a nomination now.
Submitting a nomination establishes no obligation for either party (the State Land Board or the nominator) to lease the tract. Each nomination is reviewed by the State Land Board to determine if it is appropriate to lease and the State Land Board may modify the requested tract legal description to match mineral ownership or maximize potential market interest in the tract.
If you have questions about how to submit land descriptions for a tract, or concerns about submitting nominations through the customer portal, please contact Catie Stitt, Oil & Gas Specialist, at 303-866-3454 x 3326 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sherry Lee, Resource Extraction Technician, at 303-866-3454 x 3322 or via email at email@example.com prior to submitting the nomination through the portal.
Nominations require a non-refundable $50.00 application fee per tract. The online payment portal system allows payment via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or an electronic check. There is a nominal processing fee. Credit card users will pay a fee of 2.25% of the amount due, plus $0.75. Electronic check users pay a flat $1.00 fee.
All nominated tracts go through an extensive review process by Staff, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, local governments, and other outside third parties. If, after this review, Staff determines a tract will not be presented to the Board, the nominator will be contacted with details by Staff.
If the tract review generates a leasing recommendation, the tract will be presented to the Board of Land Commissioners (Board) one month prior to the auction. All tracts nominated must be approved by the Board in order to be auctioned. The Board may approve the tract for auction, approve it with stipulations, or decline it for lease. Any tract declined for leasing activities by the Board may be reconsidered for the nomination process after one year.
Tracts are presented to the Board at a public meeting scheduled for the month prior to the online auction. Nominating parties are welcome to attend or listen to the meeting via our online stream (if available). The approved auction list will be posted on this website within 7 days of the board meeting, as well as posted on Energynet.com.
All approved tracts are auctioned on-line at Energynet.com and are subject to the rules as detailed on the online auction website. Please note: pre-registration for all bidders is required. Be sure to register with Energynet at least two weeks prior to the auction to ensure you are approved for bidding.
Oil and Gas auctions are held on a quarterly basis in February, May, August, and November. The auction is open for one week starting at 10:00 AM CDT (9:00 AM MST) on the second Thursday of the auction month and closes one week later (the third Thursday) at 10:00 AM (9:00 AM MST). See the Quarterly Auction Information page for deadlines to submit a nomination and the dates for the auction.
The State Land Board’s current royalty rate is 1/5th. The rate was set by the Board in 2016. The Board recognizes that in some areas of the state a 1/5th royalty rate may not be competitive.
The Board has approved the following procedure and reduced royalty rates: Colorado State Land Board oil and gas leases will be initially offered at a 20% royalty rate. If a lease does not sell at auction, it will be available at the next subsequent auction at a 18.75% royalty rate. If a tract is unsold at the 18.75% rate, it will be placed back into the State Land Board inventory and can be nominated for future auctions starting at the 20% royalty rate. For questions about this process please contact Catie Stitt, Oil and Gas Specialist, at 303-866-3454 ext. 3326.
Yes. The minimum bid is the first year’s rent ($2.50/acre), a buyer’s premium, a statutory fee of $100.00/tract, plus any bonus bid. The winning bidder will pay the first year’s rental, bonus, fee and buyer’s premium directly to EnergyNet at the close of the auction. The bonus, fee, and buyer’s premium is a one-time payment only. Rental is due thereafter annually on the anniversary date of the lease whether or not production is established. Please note, a successful bid constitutes the creation of a debt to the State of Colorado.
No. At this time, the State Land Board does not routinely issue oil and gas leases outside of the online auction process.
Click here for details on oil and gas leasing, including a template oil and gas lease and information on bonding, the lease assignment process, and how to relinquish a lease.
Each lease may have specific stipulations - these are listed on Energynet.com as well as the tract list and stipulations on the Quarterly Auction Information page. These terms are posted in both locations, at a minimum, one week prior to auction close.
It is highly recommended that parties review these stipulations and lease terms PRIOR to bidding on a tract and contact the State Land Board with any questions. Stipulations are approved by the Board prior to auction.