Note: This is an excerpt from a story that originally appeared in the Albuquerque Journal.
New Mexico is raking in record revenue hand over fist from activities on state-owned lands.
The State Land Office collected $852 million from leases, royalties and other payments in fiscal year 2018, a 28% increase from FY 2017 and the highest amount ever recorded, according to a new report from the economic advocacy group New Mexicans for Economic Prosperity.
And the Land Office expects revenues in FY 2019, which ends in June, to reach nearly $1 billion, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said.
About 93% of revenue is coming from lease sales and royalties on oil and gas operations, reflecting the unprecedented boom underway on New Mexico’s side of the Permian Basin in Lea, Eddy and Chaves counties.
But revenue is up as well from most other activities on state lands, including grazing and farming, non-oil-and-gas mineral mining, outdoor recreation, and, more recently, renewable energy development.
“The oil and gas boom in the Permian Basin is a big part of the record revenue flowing in,” Garcia Richard told the Journal. “The Permian is the best producing basin in North America, and possibly the world, especially in two key formations (in New Mexico) – the Wolfgang and Bone Spring. They’re incredibly lucrative.”