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New Mexico earns $4M in latest oil and gas lease sale

Apr 20, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The latest oil and gas lease sale has netted nearly $4 million for public schools and other beneficiaries. The State Land Office said this month's sale attracted two dozen bidders from six states. Up for auction were 35 tracts covering nearly 9,000 acres in Eddy, Chaves and Lea counties in southeastern New Mexico. With two months left in the fiscal year, revenues earned from monthly oil and gas lease sales have surpassed $61 million. Officials say earnings for the 2016 fiscal year totaled only $36 million. Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says it's fortunate that interest in drilling in the Permian Basin remains strong. He says more than 90 percent of revenues earned from oil and gas activity go toward teacher salaries, books and education infrastructure.