BILLINGS, Mont. -

Montana officials say an oil and gas lease auction drew successful bids on almost 30,000 acres in 15 counties scattered across the state.
    
Companies submitted bids totaling $531,563 in Tuesday's auction hosted by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
    
That translates into an average bid of $18.11 per acre.
    
The highest per-acre bid came from Harvey Mineral Partners LP. The company bid more than $85,000, or $270 per acre, for a 315-acre tract in Dawson County.
    
The state's next oil and gas lease sale is scheduled for Sept. 4.