Land commissioner halts oil and gas related well easements

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Oil and gas companies need water to drill and produce, but State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has taken action to cut back usage of fresh water from the Ogallala aquifer, which is a source of drinking water serving Hobbs and other cities in southeastern New Mexico.

Dunn announced in May that he will stop issuing or renewing easements intended for use of fresh water for oil industry activities.

Dunn told Hobbs News-Sun Wednesday that his action was in response to the City of Eunice selling water for hydraulic fracturing commonly known as fracking. Dunn says he will continue to issue easements for water going to citizens.

Mayor Matt White sees the move as a threat to the city of Eunice that heavily relies on oil and gas industries.