New Mexico to revisit bonds for oil and gas development

New Mexico

FILE – In this April 24, 2015, file photo, pumpjacks work in a field near Lovington, N.M. It was the 1970s when New Mexico last increased the amount of bond money that oil and gas companies are required to put up before drilling. As development continues at a record pace, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard says it’s time to take another look. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It was the 1970s when New Mexico last increased the amount of bond money that oil and gas companies are required to put up before drilling.

As development continues at a record pace, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard says it’s time to take another look.

Legislation that called for a study of the issue stalled during the recent session, but the State Land Office is moving ahead and will research bond levels over the next several months.

Officials say the amount of bonding needed to assure that taxpayers aren’t left paying for any clean-up and restoration after development is currently unknown.

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