Energy Summit: Industry to partner with local to sustain oil and gas growth

Sep 13, 2018 11:49 AM

New MexicoAdrian C Hedden | Carlsbad Current-Argus | September 6 2018

There’s no end in sight for the ongoing oil boom in the Permian Basin and southeast New Mexico, but oil and gas and government officials called on the industry to partner with the communities that host developments to make sure continued industrial expansion is sustained — and safe.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said the boom is essential to bringing prosperity to the State, and government regulations must not hinder the growth.

She spoke during the Carlsbad Mayor’s Energy Summit, Thursday at the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center.

Many State leaders outside of southeast New Mexico are willing to ban hydraulic fracturing, Martinez said, a technological advancement she said was instrumental in the recent boom.

Such efforts, she said, are missing the bigger picture and the needs of New Mexico.

“When someone up there says that we should ban fracking, they just don’t get it,” Martinez said. “That is bad for New Mexico, bad for the Delaware Basin and bad for our economy. They say that because they’re politicians. They sure came down here when they needed help.”

Martinez’s final term ends in January, and a new governor will be elected in November.

She said the new administration must embrace oil and gas, avoid regulations that are duplicative and unduly impede extraction.

Many regulations, Martinez said, are merely “feel-good” regulations, not rooted in fact and only serving the emotions of those outside of oil-producing regions.

“Government needs to get out of the way,” Martinez said. “We need to stop the regulations with zero outputs. What is the point? I believe strongly that data, science will tell us the right way to go.

“You know how important you are to New Mexico’s economy. I know. The rest of the state needs to know.”

The industry must partner with the local communities to ensure continued growth, said Ryan Flynn, director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA).

Private-public partnerships, along with technological advancements could ensure New Mexico’s energy future, he said, and lead to America’s energy independence.

He addressed the industry’s success, challenges and contributions to the State of New Mexico’s bottom line. 

“It’s not an understatement to call New Mexico an epicenter of energy production,” Flynn said. “You have energy leaders who are talking about New Mexico on the global scale.”

He pointed to about $13 billion in industry investments to New Mexico last year, and said he expected another “record-breaking” year in 2018.