American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 91

ConventionCoverage: New Mexico Oil & Gas Association

Amy Lueders, New Mexico director for
the Bureau of Land Management, gives
the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association
an update on changes to Onshore Order
No. 1. She says New Mexico operators
working on federal leases are likely to
be working online a lot more because of
the revisions.

Resources Department, said state and
federal agencies were working on a framework of cooperation to improve efficiencies. As part of that effort, the department's
Oil Conservation Division is working
with BLM on new federal onshore orders
and changes to resource management
plans, he noted.
OCD commented extensively on
BLM's onshore orders and resource management plans, he reported. "We are
working on all these to remove unnecessary requirements, and believe regulatory
balance and timely actions can be achieved
without compromising environmental
standards," Delfin said.
Delfin identified horizontal wells and
spills as OCD's regulatory priorities in
2017. He asserted that new technologies
and practices required New Mexico to
update its horizontal well rule. The division
has established a committee to discuss
new standards for spill delineation and
remediation, as well as reporting deadlines,
he said.
In his update on federal methane emission regulations, Butch Tongate, secretary
of the New Mexico Environment Department, reported the Environmental Protection Agency issued rules for new and
reconstructed facilities on June 3. Washington will target existing facilities in its
next round of methane regulations, he
said. As part of the regulation, the agency
is sending information collection requests
to thousands of oil and gas operators.
Following that, EPA will send a more
detailed ICR to a smaller group of facilities,

Tongate said.
One of NMED's biggest concerns remains health and safety for oil and gas
workers, he said, and observed the department had a three-year partnership
with NMOGA about that issue.
"We do an annual symposium with
NMOGA and the Southeast New Mexico
Servicing, Transportation, Exploration and
Production Safety (STEPS) network," Tongate said. "We started the program to reach
out, cooperate and collaborate with industry
to help reduce injuries and illnesses in all
industries, but particularly the oil and gas
industry. We provide training, and meet on
a regular basis to discuss best practices,
and new technology and procedures to
help ensure workers go home every night."
State Lands
New Mexico planned to revise its shutin oil well regulations by the end of October, allowing those wells to be temporarily shut in after operators filed notice
and paid a fee, Aubrey Dunn, commissioner
of the State Land Office, told NMOGA.
According to SLO, the proposed rule
is authorized by statute if the land commission finds there has been an extreme
reduction in oil prices. The shut-in rule
would remain effective for two years.
Dunn added, "I could terminate it at any
time or extend it another two years. The
price is going to be the greater of twice
the annual rental or $300 a well."
SLO also was working with OCD and
the state's Taxation & Revenue Department
to integrate all three agencies' oil and
gas production and tax data under the
Oil and Natural Gas Administration and
Revenue Database (ONGARD) computer
system, Dunn said.

The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and
Natural Resources Department is working
with federal agencies for regulatory balance, the department's secretary, Tony
Delfin, tells the New Mexico Oil & Gas
Association. The state is working to remove unnecessary requirements, he adds.

Turning to state legislation, Dunn reported SLO was monitoring two proposed
bills: an effort to use a portion of the office's funds to build a reserve to finance
restoration and remediation projects, and
a plan to finance an early childhood fund.
"There are 6.5 million unleased acres
of federal minerals under private lands in
New Mexico," Dunn said. "This legislation
creates an early childhood pot, making it
an SLO beneficiary similar to the New
Mexico Military Institute. To fund it, we
have the federal government transfer those
6.5 million acres to SLO. For the first 10
years, the state would give Washington
half of whatever it makes on that land. At
the end of 10 years, New Mexico gets
100 percent of that split estate."
❒

New NMOGA President Unveils
Plans For Public, Politics, Rules
SANTA FE, N.M.-Cliff Brunson,
chairman of the New Mexico Oil & Gas
Association, opened the group's 88th annual convention with a quick look back
and a long look forward.
"This has been another interesting and
difficult year, and I sure hope next year
we can say it has not been a difficult year
again. We have done that the last three
years, and it is not much fun. Maybe
next year we will be able say it is a better
year," offered Brunson, president of BBL

International in Hobbs, N.M.
NMOGA saw significant change in
2016, he observed, pointing to the retirement of President Steve Henke and the
hiring of Ryan Flynn as his replacement
to set up the association for future success.
Flynn, who comes to NMOGA after
serving as secretary in the New Mexico
Environment Department, told the association's members they worked in the state's
most important industry. "How this industry
NOVEMBER 2016 91



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