AUSTIN — Competition for oil and gas leases on Permanent School Fund lands in West Texas earned more than $108 million Tuesday for the Permanent School Fund, a total that’s more than twice the previous record set in 1979.
“This is an all-time record, $108 million just for the right to explore for oil and gas,” Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said after the sale. “The schoolchildren of Texas just earned $108 million today and that’s great news.”
In the quarterly lease sales held by the General Land Office, oil and gas firms submit sealed bids for the right to drill for hydrocarbons on Permanent School Fund lands. The Permanent School Fund will also earn 20 to 25 percent royalties on any oil or gas produced on the leases.
The record high total of $108,557,634.32 featured the largest average bonus paid for Permanent School Fund lands ― an average $1,916 per acre - and involved 159 leases on about 56,000 acres. The most active bidders were Angelle & Donohue Oil & Gas Properties with $51.7 million and Energen Resources Corp. with $36.4 million.
Generally, exploration bonuses range from $200 to about $2,500 an acre depending on the location and geology.
The state’s $25.6 billion Permanent School Fund helps pay for the state’s share of public education.
For a detailed look at today’s record Permanent School Fund oil and gas lease sale, visit http://www.glo.texas.gov/what-we-do/energy-and-minerals/oil_gas/sealed-bid-sales/past/index.html.