October oil and gas lease sale generates more than $12 million for New Mexico

Nov 04, 2018

Adrian Hedden | Carlsbad Current Argus | October 18th, 2018

About $12.7 million in state revenue was generated by the New Mexico’s State Land Office’s most recent lease sale, which included tracts in Lea and Eddy counties.

October’s lease sale was held online in both open bid and sealed formats, with Tyler, Texas-based Mewbourne Oil Company notching the highest bids in both auctions.

The company purchased 440 tracts for about $5.1 million.

The funds went to three beneficiaries: Common schools received $4.3 million, New Mexico Penitentiary got $8.4 million and water reservoirs were given $30,690.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said he was optimistic that fiscal year 2019 will continue to garner strong revenue.  

“Although we still have a long way to go, FY 19 is shaping up to be one of the best – if not the best – years in State Land Office history,” Dunn said. “Our beneficiaries have enjoyed record distributions and that should continue as a result of our continued efforts on their behalf.”

Nineteen tracts, about 4,176 acres in Lea, Chaves and Eddy counties were leased to eight bidders, read a news release from the State Land Office.

The average per-acre price was $3,047, and 22 bidders in five states registered for the sale.

Dunn, nearing the end of his term as State Land Commissioner, commended the office for continuing to support New Mexico’s schoolchildren and other public services.

“It has been an honor to work on behalf of the schoolchildren of the state and all of our other worthy beneficiaries,” he said. “Responsibly managing millions of acres of surface and subsurface estate while maximizing revenues is a challenge, but one that’s proven to be a very rewarding endeavor.

“Knowing that all of our hard work goes to more than just the agency’s bottom line is what makes this such satisfying work.”