University Lands lease sale raises $118 million for Texas higher education

MIDLAND, Texas — University Lands, the entity charged with managing 2 million acres of land in West Texas for the benefit of the Permanent University Fund, completed a lease sale process Wednesday that generated $118 million in total revenue.

Approximately 43,724 acres were leased through the sale process, with some acres going for more than $12,000 per acre. The average per acre lease price was $2,700 per acre.

“We are very pleased with the results of today’s sale, which will move the ball forward significantly to ensure continued development of these assets,” said Mark Houser, CEO of University Lands. Bringing in this level of revenue to support higher education and health care across Texas is an honor.”

Over the next few years, more than 300 wells will be drilled on the acreage leased in Wednesday’s sale. And while most of the leased acreage is adjacent to existing development, there are some leases that were more exploratory in nature, Houser said.

When the bidding closed Wednesday, University Lands received the results instantaneously through the online sales platform, EnergyNet, which hosted the sale.

Revenue from University Lands’ mineral leases goes to the Permanent University Fund, an endowment established in the late 1800s by the Texas Legislature to benefit higher education in the state of Texas. Today, more than 375,000 students across 25 institutions in The University of Texas System and Texas A&M University System benefit from the fund.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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