Moffat County approves oil and gas leases
Four new oil and gas leases northeast of Lay received approval from the Board of Moffat County Commissioners Tuesday morning.
The three-plus-two leases pay $42 per acre for the first three years and $35 per acre if the tenant, Metrics Energy Company, chooses to renew for another two years.
“If the whole five-year lease is exercised, that creates a $77-an-acre lease for five years,” said Jeff Comstock, Moffat County natural resource director.
Comstock said the leases are part of an entrepreneurial operation and not part of a major “play” by a company to dominate an area.
“This is very much an entrepreneur that thinks he likes the geology of a very, very specific area,” he said.
The four leases are 240 acres, 280 acres, 311.81 acres and 115.87 acres.
“We are the largest mineral owner in those four sections of land,” Comstock said.
Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe said it was good news to have any interest in the county’s resources.
“I’m just excited somebody wants to try something in our area — no matter how small,” he said.
Comstock said the $77 per acre is a “far cry” from the hundreds of dollars the county used to see, but that is due to a lack of competition in the area.
The bonus payment to the county for the first three years is $39,000, and the full royalty rate of 18.75 percent will be applied if extraction occurs.
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Erin Smiddy has lived in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District nearly all her life. An unaffiliated voter who lives in Aspen, Smiddy said she voted for President Joe Biden and Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, who ran against Republican Lauren Boebert, in the 2020 election. So far she said she’s not impressed with Boebert’s job performance.