MIDLAND – The Board for Lease of University Lands has awarded 164 oil and gas leases covering 60,791.334 acres, receiving total bonuses of $40,421,855 in its 117th oil and gas lease sale on April 21.
The funds are deposited into the Permanent University Fund and invested for the benefit of The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System.
The average bid per acre on the leases awarded in this sale was $664.93. The high bid of $1,936,000 was offered by Windsor Permian LLC on a 640-acre tract in Andrews County, Texas. The highest per-acre bids were $3,025.00 per acre on 14 different tracts varying from 160-acres to 640-acres in Andrews County, also awarded to Winsor Permian LLC. Approximately 60,791 acres were leased; bringing the total amount of University Lands under lease to 1,012,225 acres.
“The results of this sale clearly indicate there is a continued sense of optimism in the Permian Basin oil patch,” said Commissioner Jerry Patterson, chairman of the Board for Lease of University Lands. “We greatly appreciate the support industry has provided for higher education in Texas over the years in their pursuit of oil and gas on University lands.”
The top five bidders were Windsor Permian LLC ($14,832,534), T. Verne Dwyer ($8,485,831), San Luis Energy, LLC ($8,141,282), Samson Lone Star, LLC ($1,769,224) and EOG Resources, Inc. ($1,336,842).
A University Lands official indicated that slightly more than 1,000,000 acres of University Lands are currently unleased; however, this is expected to change as rising oil and gas prices have historically led to increased leasing activity.
The Board for Lease is composed of the commissioner of the General Land Office and regents from the UT and A&M University systems. Oil and gas bonuses and royalties earned from University Lands are deposited in the Permanent University Fund, a constitutionally-created endowment that benefits institutions in the two university systems.
The board is responsible for overseeing the oil and gas activities on 2.1 million acres of Permanent University Fund lands spread across 19 West Texas counties. This land was dedicated to the UT System by the state of Texas in the latter part of the 19th century. Over the years, these activities have directly generated more than $3.65 billion held as an endowment trust for The University of Texas System and Texas A&M University System.
Information about these sales may be obtained from the office of University Lands, P.O. Box 553, Midland, Texas 79702-0553, telephone (432) 684-4404, and fax (432) 682-7456. Additional information about University Lands, including oil and gas production and well data, is available online.
Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2008 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.