Mineral Owners Sought in New Mexico

by Elizabeth Alford on October 3, 2017

Carlsbad City, New Mexico has voted to move forward with plans to drill on its massive oil reserves in and around the city.

Related: Mineral Rights Dispute Slows Development in Bakken

In August, Santo Petroleum LLC was awarded mineral interests on 800 acres of land owned by the city. Now, the operator has the daunting task of identifying who owns the mineral rights. The company was given permission by the City Council to go door-to-door to lease mineral rights from owners. Once all of the mineral rights have been identified, city officials intend to negotiate a lease with Santo.

“People have been very welcome to the concept. While the city is the biggest mineral owner, there’s still quite a few landowners who we need to continue the negotiation process with.” Hansen Yates, vice president of Santo Petroleum

The company has plans to develop the entire area, drilling outside the city limits and then utilizing horizontal drilling for what lays under the city. Yates said the existing infrastructure of Carlsbad makes horizontal drilling very feasible.

Santo won’t begin drilling for at least two years since it will take that long to identify owners and negotiate leases.

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