New Mexico was on track to raise $1 billion in oil revenue

Before this week’s oil price bust, New Mexico leaders had predicted their state was on track to raise another $1 billion for public schools and hospitals. Now it’s not known how the plunge in oil prices will affect the state’s revenue from the oil patch.

February oil and natural gas royalty payments totaled nearly $109 million, according to Stephanie Garcia Richard, New Mexico Land Commissioner.

Much of drilling activity is happening in the Permian Basin, which straddles parts of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas.

The State Land Office’s Royalty Management Division reports royalty revenue three months after production, so the revenue reported for the month of February actually reflects production from November. Overall, the oil and gas industry marked another banner year in 2019.

“For the first time in history, our monthly royalty revenue will be near or over $100 million for four months in a row,” Garcia Richard said. “The money that we receive in this office is vital to all New Mexicans – whether that money is from royalty payments from oil and gas, outdoor recreation permits, renewable energy, or rights of way easements.”

Revenue from royalty payments is directed to the State Investment Council for investment in the Land Grant Permanent Fund.

Source: Associated Press