A successful oil and natural gas lease sale in Nebraska shows that energy firms remain interested in the state's hydrocarbon resources, observers say. Bidders paid $58.83 per acre in the May 14 auction, which broke the $39.95 per-acre record set in 2010. "There weren't a whole lot of bidders there, but the ones who were really bid things up," said Richard Endacott, executive secretary and CEO of Nebraska's Board of Educational Lands & Funds.

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