SANTA FE – An oil company operating in northwestern New Mexico has agreed to pay a $25,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement.
The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department said Tuesday that a notice of violation had been issued to San Juan Resources, Inc. for failing to report and perform a proper investigation of a well’s potentially defective casing. The company was supposed to get approval from the state to perform the required work on the well.
While there were no associated leaks or damages identified at the well in question, state officials said the case highlighted the importance of well integrity and proper reporting.
The state Oil Conservation Division is requiring permanent fixes at the well site.
Division Director Adrienne Sandoval said in a statement that her office views a lack of reporting and failure to take appropriate actions serious violations because it undermines the regulatory process and the division’s ability to mitigate potential risks to human health and the environment.
The division is in the middle of developing more rules aimed at the oil and gas industry to cut down on methane emissions. Reporting requirements will be a big part of the effort, state officials have said.