. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

New Mexico’s common schools got an early $10.8-million gift, thanks to the State Land Office’s (SLO) December oil and gas lease sale.

In all, the lease sale – held online in sealed bidding format – yielded $13,345,987 benefitting a total of six trust beneficiaries.

“This is fantastic news for our beneficiaries,” Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said. “Last month we broke the agency’s single-month record with more than $43 million collected; with the continued production boom in the Permian Basin, we remain on track to reach $1 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2019.”

Beneficiaries of the December sale and their respective earnings are:

• Common Schools (CS) – $10,797,221
• Public Buildings (TPB) – $1,203,370
• New Mexico State University (TUNV) – $832,640
• New Mexico State University (TAG) – $287,261
• Charitable, Penal and Reform (CPR) – $117,195
• Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) – $108,300

Santa Fe-based Federal Abstract was the high bidder, purchasing 440 acres at $3,614,120 for an average per-acre price of $8,213.

All of the 31 tracts offered in this month’s sale – totaling 5,176.26 acres in Lea and Eddy counties – sold. Eight bidders combined for $13,345,987 to yield an average per-acre price of $2,578.31. A total of 29 bidders from five states participated in the bidding.

“As I reflect on my time as Commissioner of Public Lands, I can say that I am honored to have generated so much revenue for our beneficiaries,” Dunn said. “I have done my best to ensure that the companies who operate on State Trust Lands do so in a legal and environmentally-sound manner. While the majority of companies have done just that, sadly, there are a few who have adopted unscrupulous methods and have done damage to our surface and subsurface estate.

“It’s my sincere hope that the steps we’ve taken to put an end to illegal and destructive actions will have a lasting impact so that the Trust and the school children of the state continue to benefit for generations to come.”

To date in FY19 (July-December 2018), the SLO has generated nearly $100 million ($97,822,424.60) from its monthly lease sales. Last month’s sale was the agency’s highest-ever single-month sale, bringing in $43.3 million.