A federal auction of oil and gas leases in Montana and North Dakota brought in $644,000 from the sale of 32 parcels in Montana and North Dakota.
Thursday's quarterly sale by the Bureau of Land Management in Billings awarded leases good for an initial 10 years. They totaled 7,349 acres.
The highest single-parcel bid was $280,800 from Irish Oil & Gas Inc. of Bismarck, N.D., for a 71-acre parcel in northeast Montana's Roosevelt County.
Revenue from the sales, as well as a 12.5 percent royalty fee on the oil and gas produced by the leases, is shared between the federal government and the states.
The next auction is scheduled for July 16, with 90 parcels up for lease totaling almost 19,500 acres.