Monday, April 14, 2008

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113th Lease Sale Nets $25.2 Million for Permanent University Fund

MIDLAND – The Board for Lease of University Lands awarded 166 oil and gas leases covering 59,732 acres and received total bonuses of more than $25.24 million in its 113th oil and gas lease sale on April 9.

The funds are deposited into the Permanent University Fund and invested for the benefit of the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System.

The high bid of $2,282,814 was offered by Veritas 321 Energy Partners, LP on a 640.7-acre tract in Winkler County, Texas. Veritas also offered the high bid of $3,563 per acre for leases on three different tracts in Winkler County. The average bid per acre on the leases awarded in the sale was $423. Approximately 59,732 acres were leased, bringing the total University Lands under lease to 1,480,636 acres.

“This has been another exceptional lease sale, which has generated a significant amount of money for the support of higher education in the state of Texas,” said Printice L. Gary of Dallas, a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents and one of two new members of the Board for Lease. The other new member is UT System Regent James D. Dannenbaum of Houston.

The top five bidders at the latest lease sale were Veritas 321 Energy Partners, LP ($4,422,944), Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. ($3,674,010), T. Verne Dwyer ($3,130,407), Myco Industries, Inc. ($2,424,000) and J. David  Williams ( $1,665,048).  

The Board for Lease is composed of the Commissioner of the General Land Office and regents from the UT System and Texas A&M University System. Oil and gas bonuses and royalties earned from University Lands are deposited in the Permanent University Fund, a constitutionally-created endowment that benefits institutions in the two university systems.

The board is responsible for overseeing the oil and gas activities on 2.1 million acres of Permanent University Fund lands spread across 19 West Texas counties. This land was dedicated to the UT System by the state of Texas in the latter part of the 19th century. Over the years, these activities have directly generated more than $3.65 billion held as an endowment trust for The University of Texas System and Texas A&M University System.

Information about these sales may be obtained from the office of University Lands, P.O. Box 553, Midland, Texas 79702-0553, telephone (432) 684-4404, and fax (432) 682-7456. Additional information about University Lands, including oil and gas production and well data, is available online.

About the University of Texas System
Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, the UT System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems with 15 campuses – including nine academic and six health institutions – and an annual operating budget of $10.7 billion (FY 2008). Student enrollment exceeded 194,000 in the 2007 academic year. The UT System confers one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates three-fourths of Texas health care professionals. With more than 80,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in Texas.

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