SANTA FE, N.M. — The State Land Office says this month’s oil and gas lease sale marked an all-time high for the agency, with more than $30 million being earned through the leasing of dozens of tracts in southeastern New Mexico.

Bidders competed for 82 tracts covering nearly 21,000 acres (8,498 hectares) in Chaves, Eddy, Lea and Roosevelt counties.

Texas-based Ameredev II, LLC was the highest sealed bidder, paying more than $7.3 million for 320 acres (129 hectares) in Lea County. Online, Houston’s OneEnergy Partners LLC paid more than $6 million for 320 acres in the same county.

Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says the earnings from the July sale far exceeded expectations.

Most of the money will be distributed to public schools, universities and other trust beneficiaries.

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