Exxon subsidiary pays fine in NM for environmental violations - Albuquerque Journal

Exxon subsidiary pays fine in NM for environmental violations

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A major oil company in southeast New Mexico has agreed to pay $1.77 million to the state for injection well violations.

The New Mexico Oil Conservation Division first fined XTO Permian Operating in February for expired permits and failure to test equipment, measure well pressure and submit reports.

Companies use underground injection wells to dispose of oilfield wastewater and other fluids that surface during drilling.

After the notice of violation, the Exxon subsidiary did a voluntary audit and inspection of all its injection sites in the state, according to an agency news release.

XTO found additional violations and reported them to the state.

OCD Director Adrienne Sandoval said the company has been cooperative and quickly corrected the violations.

“Every operator, no matter the size, is subject to the same requirements,” Sandoval said.

Last fall, the OCD updated company guidelines in the state’s southeast corner after the region saw an increase in small earthquakes linked to injection wells.

The new rules required companies to submit weekly water injection and pressure reports and monitor for seismic activity around the wells.

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