Oct 24 (Reuters) - An increase in oil and gas production on U.S. public lands drove a 30% increase in federal energy and minerals revenue disbursements in fiscal year 2019, to $11.69 billion, the U.S. Interior Department said on Thursday.
It said in a statement that the increased output offset lower overall prices for oil and gas during the year, allowing for the $2.76 billion revenue jump.
The Trump Administration has made aggressive moves to boost energy production on federal lands and waters by holding larger and more frequent lease sales and speeding up drilling permit timelines. Disbursements in fiscal 2019 were nearly double the $6.23 billion allocated in the final year of the Obama Administration, the department said.
Oil and gas production on federal lands has also gotten a big boost from increased drilling on New Mexico’s portion of the giant Permian Basin field, most of which lies beneath public land.
“The disbursements paid to states and Tribes from energy development revenues go right back to the communities where the energy was produced, providing critical funding for schools, public services, conservation improvements, and infrastructure projects that create good-paying American jobs,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in the statement.
The Office of Natural Resources Revenue disbursed $2.44 billion to 35 states, with New Mexico receiving nearly half of the total at $1.17 billion. Other states receiving more than $100 million each included Wyoming, Colorado and Louisiana.
Interior also disbursed more than $1 billion to tribal governments and individual mineral rights owners, $1.76 billion to the Reclamation Fund, which funds irrigation projects in Western states, $1 billion to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports state and local parks, and $150 million to the Historic Preservation Fund.
The U.S. Treasury receives the remaining $5.35 billion. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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