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Mora settles pair of fracking ban lawsuits

Mora County has settled two lawsuits filed against the northeastern New Mexico county over its attempt to ban on oil and gas drilling. The county will have to pay its own costs and fees associated with the lawsuits but not the fees of the other parties, county attorney Justin Miller said in a statement issued Tuesday. “It would have been ...

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Service companies keep cutting as rigs keep falling

Rigs contracted by Apache Corp drill for crude oil locked tight in shale in west Texas’ Permian Basin near the town of Mertzon, Texas October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Terry Wade

Permian Basin producers again dropped drilling rigs this week, Baker Hughes reported Friday, as service companies announced another round of job cuts. Baker Hughes counted 12 fewer rigs in the Permian Basin, leaving 246 drilling for oil and gas in the region. About 74 percent drill horizontal wells as producers focus on core areas. Nationally, the oil and gas rig ...

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Xcel construction plans not hampered by oil prices

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Despite a swing in oil prices, a company that provides electricity to customers throughout southeastern New Mexico and West Texas says it’s not backing down from plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the region’s infrastructure. Xcel Energy plans to spend more than $630 million on new high-voltage transmission and distribution lines and substations. A ...

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Oil bust a double whammy for San Juan

A pump jack which produces oil from the Permian Basin in Artesia, New Mexico, is seen in this undated handout photo provided by Devon. REUTERS/Devon Energy/Handout via NewsCred

Until oil prices collapsed last fall, oil exploration in the Mancos shale in the San Juan Basin was the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal situation in the Four Corners region. San Juan County, where New Mexico’s natural gas production is concentrated, has never really emerged from the Great Recession because natural gas producers are still earning a fraction ...

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A slow motion bust in the NM oil patch

The U.S. oil industry is facing its first major bust since the Great Recession, but it’s not yet visible in southeastern New Mexico. The road from Artesia to Hobbs, for example — which cuts through the bustling oil-producing town of Loco Hills — is as crowded and active now as before world oil prices began to plummet last fall. The ...

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Railroad Commission again threatened with name change

Call them choo-choos, cabooses, or trains: The Texas Railroad Commission has practically nothing to do with them. For years, some lawmakers have vainly tried to change the name of the state agency that regulates oil and gas operations. The latest proposal, from state Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, would change the name of the agency to the Texas Energy Commission. Phillips ...

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