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Disputed oil, gas lease sale brings in $15M

New Rig #8   -  Oil Pump Jack, Photo Date August 13, 2008 (Paul Lowry - CC BY 2.0 - MGN_.jpg
(Paul Lowry / CC BY 2.0 / MGN)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- An oil and gas lease sale that drew criticism from tribal leaders and environmentalists has netted more than $15 million in revenue.

The Bureau of Land Management says nearly half of the money from Thursday's sale of parcels in New Mexico and Oklahoma will go to the two states and the rest to the U.S. Treasury.

The parcels up for bid covered more than 13,800 acres (56 square kilometers). The highest bid was for land in southeast New Mexico, where a boom has resulted in record production during the past year.

In northwestern New Mexico, tribal leaders had asked that the sale be put off until federal managers update a resource management plan for the San Juan Basin. They say the agency needs to consider the cultural significance of sites in the area before allowing more leasing.

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