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VICTORIA, B.C. – Although it can be argued it was still in the dismal category, the May sale of crown petroleum and natural gas land rights this week resulted in a bonus bids total that was nearly five times the May sale last year.

However at $1.3 million, it left the calendar year-to-date total under$3.9 million, as compared to just over five million for the same five months in 2015.

It also left the monthly average at just under $775,000, and if that continues, the annual total would only be $9.3 million.

That in turn is only about 55 per cent of the 1982 total of 16.7 million, the lowest annual total the Ministry of Natural Gas Development has posted in records dating back to 1978.

This week’s sale saw the purchase of all but one of the 15 parcels offered, but with a very low per hectare average price of $177.69.

By comparison, we note again, in the 2008 record year, the average price per hectare was more than $3,500 and the annual bonus bids total was more than $2.5 billion.

The next sale is set for June 15th, with 13 parcels on offer.

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