Friday, June 13, 2008

Oil drilling plans in Tierra Amarilla worry landowners near water

Some landowners and Rio Arriba County officials are worried about a Texas company's plans to drill exploratory oil wells in the water-rich mountains east of Tierra Amarilla. Approach Resources Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas, has state permits to drill four wells in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains off N.M. 64 and has submitted applications for six more wells in the same area.

John Sena, an Albuquerque resident who owns a ranch near Tierra Amarilla, said one of the two wells the company plans on putting in at his property is within a couple of hundred yards of three natural springs. One planned on a neighboring ranch is within 12 yards of an irrigation ditch, and another is 35 yards from Tierra Amarilla Creek, he said.

"They have a right to drill, but they sure have totally disregarded the landowner," Sena said. "Their sites are poorly planned and very inconsiderate of the water and the water flow."

People downstream of Tierra Amarilla should be concerned with the drilling as well, Sena said. Tierra Amarilla Creek flows into the Rio Chama, which joins the Rio Grande." more>>>>

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