A plan that will allow for the drilling of four additional wells on a 320-acre tract in northwest New Mexico is scheduled for review by members of the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission.
That group earlier approved the plan proposed by the Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Company, which allows the company to increase its number of producing gas wells in San Juan County.
But in response to a request from State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, the commission has agreed to revisit the matter, particularly in light of ongoing charges from detractors that allowing for a well density expansion could prove to be environmentally damaging.
In calling for an additional commission review of the project, the newly-elected Garcia Richard, in a statement, said, “It is imperative that we make a decision in the region that ensures longterm sustainability and production that is fair to every producer in the state.”
Drilling in what is known as the Blanco-Mesaverde gas deposit, the Hilcorp company has said that its proposal is a “scientifically sound case in accordance with all the laws and regulations.”
The site upon which the company wants to drill encompasses a fragment of the millions of acres of state land regularly leased out by the State Land Office, revenues of which go to schools, hospitals, and other public institutions in New Mexico.
Although the project has its detractors, there are also those who support Hilcorp’s drilling plans, including the San Juan County Commission, which in November endorsed it unanimously.
By Garry Boulard
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