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$104 M raised by oil and gas leases since July 1
State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn announced Jan. 9 that earnings during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2018 from oil and gas leases have officially eclipsed the total for all of the previous fiscal year.
The State Land Office collected $104 million from activity on State Trust Lands, meaning more money will flow into public school coffers, Dunn said in a press release.
“We are encouraged by the influx of revenues to the Land Maintenance Fund and our beneficiaries should be as well as this money goes directly to public education and other state institutions we support,” said Commissioner Dunn.
Between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2017, the office stated that it sent nearly $67 million to public schools – almost $36 million more than last year at that mark.  
Another $18 million went to seven universities, the New Mexico Military Institute, the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the New Mexico School for the Deaf, and other institutions and programs supported by the agency, the release stated.
The money comes from oil and gas lease sales and rental payments from oil, gas, and mineral production, as well as ranching, farming and other commercial operations on State Trust Lands, the release said. Revenues from permits, fees, and interest payments are also in that mix.  
The office reported that oil and gas production is the biggest piece of that pie, bringing in $77.5 million since July 1.
Other key revenue sources and their respective earnings since July 1 include grazing: $11 million; business leases: $8.4 million; rights-of-way: $5.4 million; mineral rentals: $55,000; and Renewable Energy: $23,505.
The revenues flow into the agency’s Land Maintenance Fund. The self-funded office spends about five cents of every dollar it earns.  The remaining revenues are distributed monthly directly to the trust beneficiaries, the release said.
State Land Office issues lease for New Mexico wind farm
CORONA, N.M. (AP) — The State Land Office has issued a lease to a subsidiary of a California-based energy company to build a wind farm on trust land in New Mexico.
Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn announced the 50-year lease late last week, saying Cowboy Mesa LLC has plans to construct and operate a plant capable of producing 20 megawatts, or enough to power several thousand homes.
The project will cover more than 1,600 acres (648 hectares) of state trust land near Corona in Torrance County.
As part of the lease, Cowboy Mesa will pay $3,295 per year in rent until commercial operations commence. Once operations begin, the base rent will increase to $107,222 per year.
The Land Office says Cowboy Mesa's parent company, San Francisco-based Pattern Energy, has a portfolio that includes 20 renewable energy facilities.

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