New Mexico Land Office earns $2.5 million with monthly oil and gas lease sale

The New Mexico State Land Office has brought in $2.5 million from its most recent monthly oil and natural gas lease sale.

Federal Abstract Company of Santa Fe put up the highest bid of $1.53 million for 120 acres in Lea County. Land office experts say this tract commanded a high bid because it's in an area that has great oil-production potential.

In all, leases for three dozen tracts of land were sold at the Oct. 21 sale.

Leases generally give companies five years to drill a well and establish production. The lease is then in effect as long as the well is producing.

The bids earned from this month's sale go directly to state trust land beneficiaries, which include public schools, hospitals and universities.