The province says the October sale of Crown rights has brought in $9.1 million.
That compares to $15.2 million for the same time last year.
Energy Minister Tim McMillan says the change reflects a shift in focus by the energy industry as companies drill what they already have rather than buying new rights.
The ministry expects energy land sales to increase next year as more leases become available, including in the lucrative Bakken play.
Overall, the sale of leases to date this year has brought the province $53.5 million compared to $92.4 million for the same time period last year.
McMillan says Alberta and British Columbia are experiencing the same trend.