Drilling Rights Under Old Bomb Range Go For $137M

AURORA, Colo. (AP) – ConocoPhillips has tentatively agreed to pay Colorado $137 million for oil and gas underlying the old Lowry bombing range in Arapahoe County.

The Denver Post reports that an agreement signed Friday covers 21,048 acres.

In addition to the $137 million ConocoPhillips would give the Colorado State Land Board 20 percent in royalties once the lease begins producing. The deal marks the highest per-acre mineral lease price in the history of the land board.

The Post reports that the acreage is one of the largest contiguous parcels under single ownership next to a major metropolitan area in the United States. The land board in June announced plans to auction exploration and mineral development rights on the site.

The state board will vote on the deal Feb. 3

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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