Controversial oil and gas leases withdrawn north of Bluff
Development efforts have stopped on two oil and gas leases north of Bluff. EOG Resources Inc. notified the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the decision on February 28.
The decision comes on the heels of a resolution by the Bluff Town Council in early February to oppose the development of the oil and gas leases.
There were concerns in the community that the wells, if developed, would use fracking technology and possibly contaminate the aquifer that supplies Bluff with drinking water.
The issue was the focus of an exchange between San Juan Commissioners Willie Grayeyes and Bruce Adams at a February 4 meeting of the Commission.
Grayeyes expressed concern about the possible health impacts of contaminated drinking water, while Adams stated the oil reserves are thousands of feet below the water aquifer and that even if the worst case scenario occurred, it would take thousands of years to impact the drinking water.
In addition to taking steps to protect the community water system, the Town of Bluff is also attempting to secure funding to purchase the building that currently houses Bluff Elementary School.
A new school is currently under construction, so the old building will be abandoned after the current school year.
Funding to help Bluff purchase the building is being pursued in part from the Community Impact Board (CIB). CIB funding comes primarily from oil and gas leases.
The BLM has stated that the environmental assessment on the project will not proceed further since the leases have been abandoned.
EOG Resources is a Fortune 500 company from Houston, TX that is involved in oil and gas exploration efforts across the globe. The company was known as Enron before 1999.