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NEWS RELEASE · 24th June 2010
M. of Energy, Mines & Petrol
The June 2010 natural gas and petroleum rights sale resulted in over $404 million in bonus bids, bringing the calendar year total to over $609 million, announced Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bill Bennett.

“This is an extremely large sale, the fifth largest in B.C. history, and it is a clear signal that B.C.’s economic recovery is real and is underway,” said Bennett. “Investor interest of this magnitude is also strong evidence that British Columbia is a very attractive place for informed investors, thanks to our innovative royalty programs and world-class resources.”

The June 23 sale offered 117 parcels in northeast B.C. covering 140,012 hectares, and sold 108 parcels covering 134,216 hectares. The average price per hectare for this sale is approximately $3,012.

The key parcels in the sale included:

· Twenty-one parcels of deep rights in the Cordova Embayment region located 150 kilometres northeast of Fort Nelson. This group of parcels garnered over $260 million in bonus bids at prices ranging from $2,224 to $13,880 per hectare.

· Eight Drilling Licenses located in the Liard Basin, 135 kilometres northwest of Fort Nelson. Bonus bids totaling more than $92 million were received, ranging from $2,306 to $2,711 per hectare.

· Nine parcels in the Blueberry area, 80 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John, with per hectare bids ranging from $1,137 to $6,118.

British Columbia supports natural gas and petroleum activity through innovative royalty programs, increasing production and year-round activity. Production in the sector generates significant wealth while employing thousands of British Columbians. Revenues from rights sales provide immediate economic benefits, funding vital social programs and infrastructure development in communities throughout the province.

“British Columbia has tremendous resource potential, and we have significant room to grow as we foster the development of unconventional plays,” said Bennett. “June’s sale is another positive sign that our royalty programs are stimulating interest in our world-class resources, creating jobs and strengthening the economic performance of our natural gas and petroleum sector.”

Infrastructure is important for the growth and development of the natural gas and petroleum industry in B.C. The Province’s Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program has contributed to the development of critical new roads and pipelines, stimulating exploration activity in unconventional resource regions of northeast B.C., including the Cordova Embayment. Since 2004, infrastructure royalty credits have resulted in 71 new road-based projects and 83 new pipeline projects in B.C.

Drilling licences provide the exclusive right to explore for natural gas by drilling wells. They are acquired by the successful bidder at the Crown sale, and primary terms are three, four or five years, depending on location.

Leases provide the exclusive right to produce natural gas and petroleum. They are acquired by the successful bidder at the Crown Sale, or selected from Permits and Drilling Licences. Primary terms are five or 10 years, depending on location.

The next sale, scheduled for July 21, 2010, will offer 37 parcels covering 38,608 hectares.

Complete results of the sale are posted on the website of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources: www.em.gov.bc.ca/Subwebs/landsale/results/default.htm.