Oil well regulator defends its oversight of cleanup

By The Associated Press

The New Mexico Oil Conservation Division is defending its handling of cleanup efforts by an out-of-state driller at an oil waste injection site on state trust land, in response to criticism from an another state agency.

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Oil Conservation Division is defending its handling of cleanup efforts by an out-of-state driller at an oil waste injection site on state trust land, in response to criticism from an another state agency.

The Oil Conservation Division that oversees oil and natural gas well permits said Monday that it has been working with Midland, Texas-based Siana Operating to address violations and hold the company accountable for spills of oily salt water at a well site in southeastern New Mexico.

The New Mexico State Land Office that oversees state trust lands says it will prevent Siana from using trust lands until the company agrees to its stringent cleanup requirements.

Oil Conservation Division Director David Catanach says that move is obstructing responsible cleanup efforts and could cost taxpayers more.

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