Thursday, October 8, 2009

County vs. Wildcats

Briefs: Oct. 7
By: Dave Maass 10/07/2009

County vs. Wildcats: The 2007-2008 battle to keep oilmen from drilling in the Galisteo Basin was just the start of what has now become a regional war over mineral rights.

The next rumble kicks off at the Oil Conservation Commission hearing, scheduled for 9 am, Oct. 7 at Porter Hall, 1220 S. St Francis. At the top of the docket: the Rio Arriba Board of County Commissioners’ motion for the cancellation or suspension of four drilling permits issued to Approach Operating. The RAC claims the wells will “cause waste, violate correlative rights and/or be injurious to human health and the environment.” Approach will make a motion for the approval of 20 new drilling permits in Rio Arriba County.

Approach is represented by attorney J Scott Hall, who also was hired by the Santa Fe Opera to broker a deal in which the Opera and College of Santa Fe would lease 27,000 acres worth of mineral rights in Mora and San Miguel counties.

Those mineral rights were leased to J Bar Cane, the same Stanley NM-based energy company that bought up the Galisteo Basin rights and sold them to Tecton Energy.

A network of anti-drilling activists, including Drilling Santa Fe, Drilling Mora County and the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center, are preparing. At Tapetes de Lana in Mora on Oct. 8, Drilling Mora County will run a training camp on how to dig up documents and track leases, as well as how to find where the oilmen plan to strike next.