USGS study looks at links between oil and gas activity, earthquakes

A United States Geological Survey explored how human activity in relation to oil and gas production and drilling can cause earthquakes. The areas studied included two regions in New Mexico, one in northern New Mexico and another in southeastern New Mexico. In all, the report studied “17 areas within eight states with increased rates of induced seismicity.” Much of the attention is on Oklahoma, where the bulk of the new seismic activity has been found. The report was also released just days after the state of Oklahoma acknowledged a link between the disposal of wastewater from oil and gas wells and increased seismic activity.

As crude oil price drops, NM loses jobs

The nosedive in prices for crude oil will result in lower employment in the oil and gas extraction industry in New Mexico. The Albuquerque Journal reported on Wednesday that the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department predicted a drop of at least 2,000 jobs in the industry because of the lower cost of crude oil. Wally Drangmeister, a spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, told New Mexico Political Report said that with crude oil prices dropping, companies need to adjust. “Companies are looking for every efficiency they have,” Drangmeister said in a short phone interview. One efficiency is fewer explorations, less “wildcat wells” in “unproven areas.”

Affordable housing hard to come in Hobbs

As part of Margaret Wright’s two-part series on the rise in oil and gas drilling and its effects on southeast New Mexico, (here’s part one and part two) Wright mentioned that housing is hard to come by in the area. From Far From Heaven, part two in her series:State Rep. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, tells stories from his district that reflect repercussions from the industry’s highs and lows. Times have been flush, but rents are up around $1,200 a month for a small family home. With schools and emergency rooms at capacity, local officials have been working with home developers to create incentive agreements so that badly needed teachers, firefighters, police and nurses can afford to move into the area.This wasn’t just idle rhetoric from Gallegos; people really are having trouble finding places to live, as a Facebook post from the Hobbs Police Department last week reveals. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
Post by Hobbs Police Department.

Far from heaven: Fatalities, crime and rents rise alongside oil production

© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact for info on republishing. Part two in a series of two. Click here for part one. On a two-lane New Mexico state road, the number of heavy commercial trucks and semis roaring southeast between the villages of Loving and Jal tops 200 in under an hour.

Dark Gold: New Mexico’s oil patch grapples with industry impacts

© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact for info on republishing. This story is part one of a two-part series. Read part two here. Eddy County, NM, was a sleepy, low-key place when retired teacher Vickie Connally and her family moved to their little ranch in Loving south of Carlsbad years ago.