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Companies face penalties for well violations in New Mexico

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Companies face penalties for well violations in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State oil and gas regulators have issued notices to two companies for violating their permits for wastewater injection wells in southeastern New Mexico.

The Oil Conservation Division said Tuesday that the civil penalties include more than $2 million against XTO Permian Operating for violations at four wells and $7,200 against Mewbourne Oil Company for violations at one well.

The state updated its guidelines for disposal wells in November following an increase in seismic activity in parts of the Permian Basin that was believed to be associated with injection wells for wastewater and other fluids generated during oil and gas production.

The guidelines included immediate response protocols for operators to follow, including reporting and operational requirements. The guidelines also detailed the next steps the Oil Conservation Division would take if seismic activity continues in the area.

During a review of all disposal wells in the area, division staff found that permit conditions at four wells operated by XTO and one well operated by Mewbourne were out of compliance. Violations included failure to test equipment, measure well pressure and submit required documents.

The companies have the option of entering into negotiations with the division. If a resolution isn’t reached, a hearing will be held.

 

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