"It's a little bit like Vegas around here this morning," Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said. And in the end, looks like lady luck must have been on University Lands' side.
"Last fall, we did $207 million. Last spring we did $247million." This week, that trend continued. When it was all over, more than 145,000 acres were sold, bringing University Lands more than $310 million. That's $6 million more than their previous record-breaking sale.
Patterson says that one reason for the sale's success could be the price of oil. Another is the fact that wells can now be drilled where they couldn't be drilled before. "All the new multi-zone production and directional drilling and fracking and 3d seismic."
ConocoPhillips was the days highest bidder, placing multiple multi-million dollar bids in areas including Upton, Crockett and Reagan counties.
And at the end of the day, University Lands could not have been more pleased with the results. "This is incredibly exciting. It is beyond my imagination that we would have three record sales in a row. Total of those three sales is almost $600 million. That's a lot of money for higher education in Texas. We're just thrilled with that," said Jim Benson, University Lands executive director.
All that money will now go into the Permanent University Fund, benefiting Texas A&M and the University of Texas.
And as for concerns over the sand dune lizard, Patterson said that most of the tracts that were nominated for the sale weren't in the lizard's habitat. And that's why it didn't have much of an impact on the success of this week's sale.