The New Mexico State Land Office pulled in $2.39 million in proceeds Tuesday from its January oil and natural gas lease sale, which covered slightly more than 7,200 acres. Those numbers vary with the state’s December and November proceeds last year, which were $5.8 million and $3.85 million, respectively, for about 10,000 acres in each case (see Daily GPI, Nov. 28, 2012).

January 2012 proceeds were much higher: $6.4 million for 7,715 acres, or more than $4 million ahead of this year.

Twenty-seven tracts were sold in the most recent offering, according to the agency; the sales late last year included 29 tracts. Three counties were involved in both lease sales — Lea, Eddy and Chaves counties — with the addition of Sandoval County this month in place of San Juan or Roosevelt. Twenty-eight tracts were offered.

For the 27 tracts gaining offers, there were both sealed and oral five-year bids, according to the state agency. Sealed bids for 15 tracts brought in $2.1 million, or $618.27/acre, covering 3,419 acres; oral bids garnered $276,000, or $72.92/acre, for 12 tracts covering 3,785 acres.

The highest sealed bid came from Doug Schutz of Santa Fe: $1.5 million for 201 acres in Eddy County, 10 miles south of Loving, NM. Daniel Gonzales, from Santa Fe, captured the other highest bids: a per-acre sealed bid of $10,030 for 409 acres in Eddy County; the other two were oral bids of $205,000 and $854.17/acre, all in Eddy County.

New Mexico holds its lease sales the third Tuesday of each month; the next sale will be Feb. 19.

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