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Company to explore for oil near Rio Rancho

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — An Oklahoma-based energy company has received a state permit to drill an exploratory oil well in Sandoval County, about four miles outside of the Rio Rancho city limits.

The company, SandRidge Energy, Inc., is working to get approval from Sandoval County for drilling at the site, said David A. Kimmel, SandRidge communications director.

The location is north of Northern and Encino, which is west of the city, said Mike Springfield, Sandoval County planning and zoning director.

It was unclear Thursday who owns the property.

Springfield also said the city has future plans for a water well in that “general area,” and that he had sent the company’s application to the city for review on Thursday.

However, city communications manager Annemarie L. García said the city did not have such plans. She added, “If anything was sent to us today (Thursday), we’ve not had time to review it.”

Currently, the closest water well is two miles away — one of two within a five-mile radius, according to information the company filed with the county. SandRidge said it planned to drill vertically to a depth of 10,500 feet, and that it expected its drilling and production testing operation would last 25 days.

Jami Grindatto, president and CEO of the Sandoval Economic Alliance, said the SandRidge operation would have a “small environmental footprint.”

“These kind of explorations are done close to municipalities all throughout the Permian Basin,” he said.

The company has been meeting with Rio Rancho and Sandoval County officials for the past several months “in order to discuss all appropriate topics pertaining to our intended operations in the area, and we continue to work through the approval processes with Sandoval County,” Kimmel said in an email.

“And of course, we are very excited to get started!” he wrote.

SandRidge’s main focus is on exploration and production activities, although its subsidiaries also “own and operate gas gathering and processing facilities, saltwater disposal and electrical infrastructure facilities and conduct marketing operations,” according to its website.

One of its subsidiaries operates  a drilling rig and related oil field services business, the site said.


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