Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oil Drilling in Santa Fe County?

Oil and gas explorers have leased hundreds of square miles of minerals from south of Galisteo through the Ortiz Mountains to the outskirts of Santa Fe. They have repaired corroded, leaking casings in an old well off HWY 14 near the Galisteo Creek. They have fractured the formation with a new round of chemicals and thousands of barrels of water to release the high-quality "sweet" crude oil trapped by the chemical reactions left from the 1980s. Yes, they did find oil and gas back in the early 1980s. But the boom turned to bust and prices plummeted (The Heritage Foundation). There was no pipeline for the natural gas. This time they have big plans, including pipelines to carry the natural gas. Santa Fe County is bracing for the real possibility of an unprecedented round of oil and gas drilling exploration. However, some are skeptical about the viability of such a project.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of Drilling Santa Fe.

Upcoming Events

Major upcoming event: Public Meeting, December 6th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm: Santa Fe County Public Oil & Gas Meeting at the Santa Fe High Gym. Officials attending: All five of the Santa Fe County Commissioners; Representatives King & Wirth; Senator Geigo; from the State Land Office, John Bemis; and from the Oil Conservation Division, Mark Fesmire. Click here for meeting flyer.

KUNM (Jim Williams) podcast: (click here)
November 26: OCC Pit Hearings Continue: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (public comment is taken before the OCC breaks for lunch and before the OCC adjourns for the day). Where: Porter Hall, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Wendell Chinco Building, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Heading North on St. Francis, turn left on Alta Vista. Go past the Lujan Building. It is the last building; southwest corner of the complex.) Please note that there are no hearings planned for Wednesday and Thursday. Friday may be a good day for public comments. Then, the hearings will resume Monday, December 3rd. (Link to the Oil Conservation Division) .

In a related recent article regarding the Oil Conservation Commission (OCC), Oil and gas industry fights state environmental regulations, 'New Mexico Oil and Gas Association President Bob Gallagher expects the pit rules to wind up in litigation, the same as the new surface waste and enforcement regulations, which industry leaders already appealed in district court in Santa Fe.

‘Industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees to fight these regulations,’ Gallagher said. "We have no choice. These are burdensome and costly regulations that are very detrimental to industry.’…

…’But even with the court challenges, the state's new environmental rules are likely to take effect, Fesmire said (see above).

‘We've bent over backwards to address their issues in the stakeholder process, but ever since we started updating the rules, industry has, without exception, appealed everything,’ Fesmire said. ‘They're within their legal rights, but they're just drawing it out as long as they can."

Recent Gallagher Opinon, "Tecton part of new generation of oil business."

With permission, here are links provided by Tony Bonanno Photography (click here) of the Tecton public presentation (click here) and of the Santa Fe County public forum (click here). Tony says that anyone is welcome to download anything at no charge.

Recent related articles:
451 Press
Are Regulations to Blame?

Mineral Leases, Split Estate, Oil Revenue, and Updates

Several newspaper articles have confused the complicated issues of split estate and mineral leases, so it should be pointed out that to lease mineral rights, may not prevent oil & gas drilling and development due to "forced pooling." Such as, "a company may pool two or more leases to create a tract that is sufficient in size to form a drilling unit for a single well" (Oil & Gas Accountability Project [OGAP]). And the State expects the entity leasing State minerals to make every effort to extract minerals. Otherwise, the lease is taken back by the State. Even if individuals could purchase private mineral rights and were to refuse to lease them to Oil & Gas drillers, forced pooling could pool those minerals for extraction.

For more information about mineral rights, split estate, forced pooling and so forth, please go to the OGAP site
http://www.earthworks.org or http://www.ogap.org to order or download, "Oil and Gas at Your Door?" Given that most surface property owners in New Mexico do not own the minerals beneath, the more important question may be not who owns your minerals but, if leased, who has the minerals leased. (Also, see Action Alert: On-site Burial of Oil & GAs Pit Waste.)

Oil revenue Op Ed, "County, don't bite oil-revenue carrot." Also, a letter to the editor.

On October 30th, please tune in to "The Journey Home" at 4:00pm and listen to an interview between Diego Mulligan and Drilling Santa Fe on KSFR, 101.1 FM.

Recent KSFR oil & gas stories, click on Public NewsRoom and listen to the Oct. 22nd and 25th Podcasts.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Black-Ferrill #1 OCD Report

For OCD - Well Reports:

Click here for EMNRD public access. Then click "Well Files." Then go to "County" and select from the drop down menu "Santa Fe," then click "Continue." Click on the circle next to "Well Name & Number: Ferrill No. 001, Operator: Tecton Energy, LLC." At the bottom of the page, click on "Continue." The dispay screen will have the most recent report at the bottom of the page and to the right. Click on image to open. Or, go to direct link to Black-Ferrill #1 reports.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What are the consequences of oil & gas drilling in Santa Fe County - intended & unintended?

What are the consequences of oil & gas drilling exploration to Santa Fe County -- intended and unintended? To begin to answer that question, there must be independent hydrogeological, environmental, cultural, and adverse economic impact studies conducted.

Santa Fe County is in a unique position. The citizenry of Santa Fe County has the fortitude to support County officials, who will stand up to the oil & gas industry.

There are some people who have expressed uncertainty about the County’s authority to protect our precious water resources from oil and gas activities. We believe that this uncertainty is misplaced and that the County has full authority to protect its water resources – both surface water and groundwater – from the certain damage that would be caused by oil and gas activities. We further believe that it would be disastrous for the County to "throw in the towel" on the basis of a perceived preemption issue, instead of exercising its full authority under the New Mexico Constitution and New Mexico statutes.

Likewise, we believe that it is unlikely that a court would find that the County does not have authority to protect the County's water resources from the adverse effects of oil and gas activities. We have looked carefully at the State's Water Quality Act and the State's Oil and Gas Act. Looked at together, it seems clear that the New Mexico legislature has intended to preserve the authority of local governments to protect water resources more stringently than those resources are protected by the State.

To write to your elected officials: Santa Fe County ; New Mexico Legislature ; U.S. Congressmembers ; Sample Letter .

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of Drilling Santa Fe.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How many barrels?

"This world uses a thousand barrels of oil a second-- that's 86 million barrels a day. With China, India and other emerging nations continuing to grow, that number's not going anywhere but up."
-- mywesttexas.com

"According to Dirks, the portion of the rift between Santa Fe and Socorro may contain one of the largest hydrocarbon resources in New Mexico, containing 50 to 100 million barrels of light sweet crude oil and 5 to 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas." -- Tecton Energy, LLC Press Release, September 19,2007.

Enough oil for just about a day of current world consumption; but, what about the adverse economic, cultural, water source, and environmental impacts to Santa Fe and Santa Fe County?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Produced Water

Produced Water: "Any water that is produced to the surface along with oil or gas." "It is the largest waste stream generated by the oil and gas industry." Oil and Gas Accountability Project

"For every barrel of oil produced, approximately 10 barrels of brackish or saline water is generated." Sandia National Laboratories