Big oil and gas sale to start 2012

18 of the 25 parcels offered, covering just less than 30,000 hectares, were purchased, and that left the per hectare purchase price at slightly more than $1,300.

The province is coming off a down year in sales, with the 2011 total at 222.6 million dollars, just slightly better than one quarter of the 2010 total.

However, that year the January sale total was only 13 million dollars, and you have to go back to the 2007 total, of 44.1 million, to find a January total that exceeds the one Wednesday, or even amounts to 50 percent of it.

That includes the all time record year of 2008 when the total tender bonus was 2.6 billion dollars, but the January sale generated only 8.6 million.

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