CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) - Tight school budgets have New Mexico schools trying to find different ways to raise money.
The Carlsbad Municipal School District is doing it by pumping black gold.
The district's director of finance said nearly seven acres owned by the district aren't being used, so why not put it to good use by pumping oil?
"If it's a resource available to us, and it's not currently being used," Laura Garcia said. "I think the main idea is to utilize what we have."
Garcia said with enrollment up by nearly 100 students since 2012, the Carlsbad district needed to find another source of income.
"That presents challenges. Mainly we are trying to meet the needs of a growing district," she said.
She says RSC Resources, L.P., a New Mexico oil drilling company, approached the district with the idea.
"The proposal from the company was to drill on a well that was not currently active, and it will bring in revenue to the district as far as royalty payments," said Garcia.
The company plans to drill for oil on the old Malaga Elementary School property.
In return the company promised the District $500 per acre and 20 percent of the profits made on the land.
Garcia said the district can't be certain any major profits will come from the land but is positive about the outcome.
"We couldn't see that there were any negative impacts from this move," said Garcia.
The District sold the Malaga property in 1974 but retained the mineral rights.
The last lease on this property was in 1975 in the amount of $10 per acre and a 3/16th royalty until the well stopped producing.
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