The Bureau of Land Management received nearly $500,000 in bonus bids for oil and gas leases in Utah during a Dec. 28 auction, BLM spokesman Jerry Meredith said.

The bids ranging from $2 to $140 an acre were received on 56 of 274 parcels offered for lease, Meredith said.Exxon Corp. submitted the highest bid of nearly $140,000 for a 1,200-acre parcel in San Juan County, while Wintershall Corp., Denver, Colo., made the highest bid per acre for another tract in the county, he said.

Meredith said the sale netted more than $80,000 in first-year rentals and more than $4,000 in administrative fees.

Meredith said successful bidders pay a $75 administrative fee and yearly rental of $1.50 an acre for the first five years and $2 an acre thereafter.

The bureau received 500 offers on the unsold parcels.