Published: 1:48 pm, Tue. May. 2nd, 2017Updated: 1:47 pm
With two months left in Fiscal Year 2017, State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn today announced the State Land Office has collected $450 million, which exceeds last year’s earnings-to-date by $10 million.
“Revenue projections indicate we will surpass last fiscal year earnings by $50 million, or 10 percent,” said Dunn. “A 10-percent revenue increase for the Land Office is a 10-percent revenue increase in distributions to public schools.”
Oil and gas production on state trust lands has dominated the agency’s business activity, generating $418 million since July 1 – more than 90 percent of all revenues collected. Oil and gas revenues include monthly lease sale earnings, rentals, royalties and interest.
Oil and gas lease sale earnings, rentals, and interest receipts since July 1 add up to nearly $65 million. These revenues are deposited into the Land Maintenance Fund, which covers the Land Office’s operating expenses. The agency is self-funded and spends about 5 cents of every dollar it earns. The remaining revenue is distributed to the beneficiaries.
Royalty earnings have reached $353 million since the beginning of the fiscal year. Royalties earned from oil and gas development on Trust lands are paid into the Land Grant Permanent Fund and distributed monthly to the institutions and programs supported by the Land Office.
A boost in oil and gas royalties is expected due to an influx of oil exploration and production in the Permian Basin. Dunn says he foresees royalty earnings climbing to $441 million by June 30 – a $35 million increase from Fiscal Year 2016.
EOG Resources, the Land Office’s largest holder of state leases, recently reported it was producing 4,770 barrels a day from a single well in the Permian Basin.
“That is impressive, given that the average well in the area produces 600 barrels a day,” said Dunn. “It is also indicative of why oil and gas production is so appealing in the Permian Basin, and that is good news for public education in New Mexico.”
Other revenues collected since July 1 include:
• Rights-of-Way: $7 million
• Business Leases: $5.7 million
• Mineral Rental and Royalty Revenues: $5.6 million
• Grazing Revenues: $10.7 million
• Renewable Energy: $118,500
Some examples of distributions from the Land Maintenance Fund and Lane Grant Permanent Fund since July 1 include:
• New Mexico public schools: $513,753,462.23
• University of New Mexico: $9,178,817.24
• New Mexico State University: $2,628,170.82
• Eastern New Mexico University: $593,337.58
• NMMI: $16,815,485.96