A Guide to the Energy Resources Collection, 1932-2017
The Texas General Land Office earns money for the Permanent School Fund (PSF). One of its primary responsibilities is leasing the state's vast land and mineral holdings for energy and mineral development with the proceeds going into the PSF to help finance K-12 education in Texas. Since 1854, the PSF has grown into one of the world's largest endowment funds for education.
State lands dedicated to the PSF include 13 million acres, approximately 65 percent of the state land and mineral rights that the Land Office manages. Roughly four million acres of that portfolio are submerged lands, including the bays, lakes, islands, bayous, and the Gulf of Mexico out to the Three Marine League Line (10.3570 miles). Several other land classes exist: the beds of navigable rivers and creeks account for approximately 1 million acres; State Fee lands include 873,815 acres; Relinquishment Act lands account for 6,326,361 acres; and Free Royalty acreage totals 826,656.
The Texas Constitution of 1876 set aside half of Texas’ remaining public lands to establish a Permanent School Fund (PSF), to help finance public schools. Legislators intended for this land to be sold and the proceeds be deposited into the PSF. Deposits to the PSF would be an inexhaustible source of revenue because only interest income from the fund could be spent and would be apportioned among the state's public schools.
The Land Office is responsible for managing these lands, including sales, trades, leases and improvements, as well as administration of contracts, mineral royalty rates, and other transactions. These lands generate revenues primarily through oil and gas revenues, but also through land sales and leases for surface uses.
The interest earned on the PSF investments is distributed by the State Board of Education to every school district in Texas on a per-pupil basis. The land office also deposits fines on unpaid or late royalties, commercial leasing revenues, and Outer Continental Shelf pipeline fees into the PSF.
Since only interest income can be spent, the principal amount of the PSF remains intact and will continue to benefit the public schools of Texas.
Beginning in 2005, the Land Office was given the authority to invest in real estate using proceeds received from the sale of PSF lands and revenue from PSF mineral leases and royalties. Professional fund management firms oversee these funds on behalf of the Permanent School Fund.
Land Office involvement in the Permanent School Fund is managed by the School Land Board.
The School Land Board (SLB) was established in 1939 by the 46th Legislature to manage the sale and mineral leasing of Permanent School Fund (PSF) lands. The SLB’s responsibilities include approving land sales, trades and exchanges, and the purchase of land for the PSF. In addition to this, the SLB issues permits, leases and easements for uses of state-owned submerged land.
The SLB is composed of three members. The Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office serves as Chairman of the SLB and is joined by two citizen members. One citizen member is appointed by the Governor while the other is appointed by the Attorney General. Citizen members serve two-year terms, and may be reappointed, while the Commissioner serves during his/her term in office.
Source: Texas General Land Office. 2013. "Energy and Minerals." Accessed December 9. http://www.glo.texas.gov/what-we-do/energy-and-minerals/index.html
The Energy Resources Collection primarily contains Oil and Gas Lease Sales records, 1932-2017. The Oil and Gas Lease Sales records document the process by which one could review and bid on leases for tracts of land intended for mineral exploration. The Records include the "notice of bids" advertising tracts available for lease; the "tabulation of bids" denoting who bid on a tract and what that bid was; and flyers advertising the lease sale.
The Submerged Lease Sales series contains correspondence, legal records and computer-generated reports detailing what State-owned tracts of submerged land have been leased; by whom; and what fees were owed to the GLO.
The Royalty Audits are detailed reports auditing two mineral exploration companies, Texaco and Spinnaker, to determine if the two companies were paying the correct royalty payments to the GLO.
The Collection also contains links in Related Archival Material to collections that complement the records here.
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
[Short title of Document], [Date: Day-Month-Year]. Box [#], Folder [#], p. [#]. Energy Resources Collection (AR.130). Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin.
Detailed Description of the Collection