Oil boom raises 1 B for TX schools

- The latest statistics show oil field production is at an all time high in several West Texas counties. That means more royalties for landowners and several of the state universities, Texas A&M and University of Texas, are benefiting as well.
The increased oil production is so high in 19 West Texas and two North Texas counties that land, owned by A&M and UT universities, brought in over $1 billion.

"The reports indicate and were verified that, the Permian University fund broke $1 billion this year," stated A&M Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications, Steve Moore.

The royalty money collected forms the Permanent University Fund which supplies libraries, new faculty, some construction, and can be filtered to local Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Offices.

"We have several universities as well as our agencies who are available to use these funds for capital projects, excellence funding, and that falls into the categoy of redevelopments, new programs, new faculty," explained Moore.

This is the first time since the fund was formed in the 1800's that so much money has been brought in. The A&M Vice President of Marketing said university staff did not think they would reach the "billion dollar mark" until several years down the road.

"The expectations of projections were not for it to be this high at this point in time," continued Moore.

Moore said this unanticipated extra funding will allow both universities to remain competitive, top tiered schools.

"It's a fund that allows the two major state university systems to use that income to promote the schools, to advance research, to invest in a manner that's going to allow them to continue to be top tiered schools in the United States," Moore said.

He is hesitant to estimate how much money could be brought in by the end of 2014; but, with continued oil drilling and production, he said sky's the limit.

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