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  The New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission held a hearing April 17, 2018 in case No. 15957 re: Application of the NM OCD to amend rules of the Commission concerning the drilling, spacing, and operation of horizontal wells and related matters. The purpose of the proposed changes is to bring New Mexico’s Administrative Code more…

Enduro Operating, LLC v. Echo Production, Inc., 413 P.3d 866, 2018-NMSC-016 (2/15/2018) In Enduro v. Echo, the New Mexico Supreme Court reinstated its permissive commencement of operations standard, overruling the Appellate Court’s attempt to narrow the definition from “any activity.” The Supreme Court concluded that “a party may prove that it has actually commenced drilling…

Enduro Operating, LLC, v. Echo Production, Inc., et al, 2016-NMCA-34,581 & 34,918 (NM Ct. App 2016). Survey and staking of a well site prior to a JOA-defined 30 day consent clause and a 90 day commencement clause (120 days total) combined with back-room operations during the 120 day period did not constitute commencement of operations…

New Mexico is currently facing a budget crisis due to the downturn in oil prices. Fortunately for the State Land Office, Section 19.2.10.7(G) of the New Mexico Administrative Code authorizes the State Land Commissioner to periodically review the easement price schedule, and review it he has. As of January 20, 2017, Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has…

New (And Improved?) BLM Onshore Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced the update of Onshore Oil and Gas Orders 3 (new part 3173), 4 (new part 3174), and 5 (new part 3175), after a seven-year effort to address concerns raised by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the…

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its quarterly survey of approximately 200 oil and gas firms located or headquartered in the 11th District (see illustration) September 28, 2016. The Survey measures the firms’ business activities over the last quarter, reporting whether they increased, decreased or remained static. The results are used to help guide…

I’m fresh off the plane from the AAPL Santa Fe Land Institute and must commend the event planners for a well-organized and informative seminar. Patrick L. Padilla, Assistant Commissioner, Mineral Resources, New Mexico State Land Office gave a great update on the SLO. Below are some of the key points: Shut-in Wells: Proposed 19.2.100 New…

Carlsbad Resource Management Plans, They Are a Changing The Bureau of Land Management’s Carlsbad, New Mexico Field Office is in the process of revising its Resource Management Plan (RMP). An RMP categorizes allocations (uses) that are allowable, constrained or prohibited on public lands. The current RMP has been in effect for twenty years. A revision,…

                    In examining title to Federal lands in New Mexico, I came across the following clause contained in Federal oil and gas leases: “…Extraction of Helium – Lessor reserves the option of extracting or having extracted helium from gas production in a manner specified and by…

Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project, et al, v. New Mexico Conservation Commission, et al, 2016-NMCA-055 (Cert. Den. 4/15/16). The Appellate Court affirmed the 2013 changes to the “Pit Rule” in concluding that a pending appeal of the 2008 Rule and the 2009 Amendment to the Pit Rule did not remove the New Mexico Oil…