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Permitting and Leasing

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The Texas General Land Office leases Permanent School Fund (PSF) land to energy firms looking for oil and gas. These firms bid for the right to lease promising tracts, and give 20 to 25 percent in cash or in actual product to the PSF. In this way, the Land Office earns more than it spends, providing a value to Texas public schools and the taxpayer.
The Land Office regulates the activities of oil and gas companies on state lands through a series of permits designed to allow companies to explore and/or develop state minerals while protecting state lands.  State lands requiring permits include, submerged lands in bays, lakes, islands, bayous and the Gulf of Mexico out to 10.3 miles.

The Land Office is responsible for the management of oil and gas leases on state-owned lands.  Below are the leasing procedures for different types of state-owned mineral interests.

Lease Maintenance
Once an oil and gas lease is issued through the Land Office, there are numerous filing requirements and lease maintenance issues, including pooling state oil and gas leases and pooling the unleased mineral interest of the state under riverbeds, channels, highways, roads, streets or alleys.

» Filing RRC Reports and Division Orders

Filing RRC Reports and Division Orders
The state oil and gas lease requires that certain records and reports such as forms filed with the Railroad Commission of Texas and division orders be submitted to the Land Office in a timely manner. See the link below for additional information.

Statutes and Codes
Maintaining a State Oil and Gas Lease

» Plugging and Abandoning Wells

Plugging and Abandoning Wells
If a well is completed as a dry hole or upon complete cessation of production the Lessee has the duty to properly plug and abandon the well and restore the property to its condition prior to issuance of the lease. All federal and state laws apply.

Statutes and Codes
Plugging and abandoning wells – Discontinuing the Leasehold Relationship

» Classification Letters and Certificates of Fact

Land Classification Letters are a service provided by the staff of the General Land Office’s Legal Services Division. Letters of classification contain a legal description of the land, patent information and the land classification, with staff signature. Fee: $10/per abstract, tract

Certificates of Fact are a document written by the staff of the General Land Office’s Legal Services Division describing the history, in chronological order, of a particular tract of State land with the Commissioner’s signature. Fee: $100/initial fee, plus $100 per additional file included in the certificate of fact.

Please contact Texas General Land Office Legal Services for more information.

Links to Additional Resources


Robert Hatter
Minerals Leasing
Robert Hatter