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Utah bidders snap up drilling rights

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Bidders snapped up more than 13,000 acres of federal leases in Utah for oil and gas drilling.

The drillers, brokers and speculators paid more than $725,000 for drilling rights in a quarterly auction held Tuesday in Salt Lake City by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The government says Curtis Turner of Sandy paid the most for a lease — $265,200 for a 520-acre parcel in the Green River district.

In all, bidders snapped up 13 lease-parcels scattered across central and eastern Utah.

The BLM kept other parcels off the auction block over protests by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.