- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The State Land Office has collected more than $654,000 from its most recent monthly oil and gas lease sale, bringing the total for the fiscal year to more than $65 million.

Agency officials say that is almost double last year’s total of $36 million.

This month, 20 tracts covering almost 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) were initially offered but most ended up being withdrawn.

Roswell-based Manzano LLC and Artesia-based Abo Empire LLC were the winning bidders of the two remaining tracts in Lea County.

Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says his office has exceeded budget projections for the fiscal year, noting the interest in New Mexico’s share of the Permian Basin.

Revenues generated from oil, gas and mineral production, grazing and other activities on state trust lands benefit public schools, universities and infrastructure projects.

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