— August 11, 2017
The NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources has entered into an agreement with Sandoval County to assess the potential for economically viable oil and natural gas resources in the county. As well as assessing and mapping the oil and natural gas potential throughout the county, the research will illustrate the stratigraphic relationship of potentially productive strata to aquifer-bearing strata. The project report, to be completed by the end of May 2018, will also discuss how modern oil and gas extraction technologies may impact aquifers in the particular setting of Sandoval County. Although the northwestern part of Sandoval County has seen oil production for more than 50 years, recent efforts to drill an exploratory well near the City of Rio Rancho have raised concerns about the possibility of contamination of aquifers by productive oil and gas wells in an urban setting. This study will provide the county’s Planning and Zoning staff with an unbiased scientific report which they can incorporate into their work.