Under the leadership of Commissioner Ray Powell, the New Mexico State Land Office produced a record amount of revenue in fiscal year 2012, totaling more than $650 million in income from trust lands and permanent funds for beneficiaries.
The Land Office saw numerous record-setting numbers during its monthly oil and gas lease sales during the 2012 fiscal year. The months of July, and Aug. earned a combined $34 million from the monthly oil and gas lease sale at the State Land Office.
“I attribute these record revenues not just to higher oil prices but also to the thoughtful selection of land tracts for lease sale by our employees at the State Land Office,” said Commissioner Powell. “Technological advances have allowed larger volumes of oil to be produced from existing wells and this has contributed to this record-setting revenue. This money will help our state’s special schools, public schools, universities, and hospitals in these difficult times.”
The record setting revenue is thanks in part to advancing technologies, making it possible for businesses to reach oil and gas resources which were previously unavailable. This opened up possibilities for numerous tracts of trust land in New Mexico. Renewable resources, like wind, solar, and commercial leases, also contributed to earnings for the land office.
The New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, as well as special schools and hospitals that serve children with physical, visual, and auditory disabilities. Commissioner Ray Powell, a Democrat, was elected in 2010 and assumed office at the beginning of 2011.