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New Mexico regulators report drop in methane emissions

New Mexico regulators report drop in methane emissions

The Associated Press
November 03, 2017 04:19 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - State regulators say methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in New Mexico have dropped by more than 50 percent over the past year thanks to advances in technology and changes in the way wells are drilled.

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Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Ken McQueen told a panel of state lawmakers Friday that most companies that are actively drilling are reporting the volumes of methane intentionally released through venting and flaring as part of their operations.

McQueen says out of the 60,000 active wells that are documented each month, his agency found 56 instances in which operators failed to report the required data.

Environmentalists say the state isn't accounting for methane pollution resulting from leaks and that allowing the gas to escape is costing New Mexico millions of dollars in lost tax revenues and royalties.

EDDY COUNTY COLLECTING BACK TAXES FROM OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Officials in one southeastern New Mexico county have collected more than $300,000 in back taxes from oil and natural gas companies for equipment and other assets.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that companies have allegedly failed to render their gas gathering pipelines for taxation and possibly more than 100 drilling rigs managed by various companies were omitted from Eddy County's tax rolls.

An audit thus far shows that some of the companies operating in the county have failed to pay taxes for the last decade.

County Assessor Gemma Ferguson said a total of about $365,000 was billed to companies so far and more bills are forthcoming.

The process will continue as a company contracted by the county is undertaking a mapping and discovery project that includes evaluating pipelines, wells and compressors.

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The Associated Press

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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