A drawn out battle in Congress, that has now turned its focus to the Oct. 17 debt limit deadline, could impact the region’s oil and gas industry and some local workers.
The federal closure of the Bureau of Land Management’s local office has already halted the processing of drilling permits. A prolonged backlog could interrupt the industry in southeast New Mexico, said New Mexico Oil and Gas Association’s spokesman Wally Drangmeister.
“As time goes on, it just increases the likelihood of disruption,” Drangmeister said Thursday. “Who knows how long this will go on?”
Forty-nine percent of the state’s oil and gas is produced on federal land, administered by the BLM. BLM offices in New Mexico and Wyoming permit 67 percent of the total wells in the U.S.
“If this goes on long enough, it could impact the whole basin,” Drangmeister said.
Every oil and gas operator that wants to drill must submit an Application for Permit (APD) with its local BLM office.
A Government Accountability Office report, issued Aug. 23, found the Roswell Field Office only received seven APDs in fiscal year 2012, a decline of 61 percent since fiscal year 2007. The Hobbs Field Login to read more