SANTA FE, NM – A bill was introduced today in the State Legislature to raise the royalty rate on the top performing oil and gas leases on state trust lands to ensure more money is made for New Mexico schools and hospitals. House Bill 398, pushed by Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, was introduced by Representative Derrick Lente (D – 65).
Under the legislation, when oil production reaches 20,000 barrels monthly, or 75,000 m.c.f. (thousand cubic feet) for gas, the royalty rate the Land Office receives would increase to 25%. The bill would also require that companies pay royalties on gas wasted through venting or flaring. On average, a million dollars is lost every month to the beneficiaries due to venting or flaring. Revenues generated would go to fund public schools, universities, hospitals and other public institutions.