Wyoming's lease revenue climbs by 800 percent this year

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) – Wyoming's revenue from leasing land to oil and gas companies grew by more than 800 percent this year.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the state netted about $146 million this year from leasing more than a half million acres of federal and state land.

State lands alone brought in $60 million this year - much higher than the typical revenue that stayed between $5 million and $7 million in past years.

The revenue from lease sales from the Bureau of Land Management and the auctions from the Office of State Lands added up to about $16 million last year when oil and gas activity was still in a downturn.

State officials say the Wyoming's decision to switch to an online auctioning system may have played a role in increasing revenue.