Sept. 25, 2019 (IPANM) – IPANM has continued to keep in contact with the new state administration in regards to the new Oil Conservation Division Administrative Penalty Authority, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. To implement the new authority, the OCD is required to present a new schedule of fees for approval in front of the Oil Conservation Commission before the end of the year.
At the urging of IPANM’s Executive Board to the new administration, IPANM has been asked to select two independents to attend stakeholder discussions with the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department regarding appropriate penalty levels. IPANM’s Executive Board is currently reviewing potential member candidates to represent the association during these discussions. If you have particular interest to work in the stakeholder group, please reach out to Board President Kyle Armstrong at email@example.com.
IPANM’s representatives will work to ensure that minor site violations receive minor penalties vs. significant fines that threaten the financial solvency of smaller operators. However, IPANM does strong suggest that all operators make sure all wellsites are in good standing and up to standards to avoid any potential penalties beginning in 2020.
The new statutory authority allows OCD the ability to fine operators up to $5,000/day for major violations beginning in 2020. IPANM stood in strong opposition to this new authority during the 2019 Legislative Session, but since it is now passed and signed into law, we will work with our operators to ensure the new authority is abused, or leads to undue, punitive hardship on our members.