Local oil wells reactivated

By Michael Harrell: PNT Staff Writer

Orbit Petroleum recently activated seven more oil and gas wells in the southern tip of Roosevelt County, bringing their total number of active wells to 35, according to a company press release.

The Oklahoma City-based company has plans to re-activate an additional 25 wells in what is known as the Chavaroo Field, according to a company press release.

Roosevelt County has received $167,000 in tax money since July 1 from the oil and gas production and equipment used in the county, according to County Manager Charlene Hardin. The revenue depends on the production rate and the amount of equipment in the county being used, according to Hardin.

“It isn’t a major revenue, but it does help,” Hardin said.

A state official said with the high price of oil, even low-producing wells are profitable.

“Demands are greater for the oil and very few are not economically advantageous,” said Chris Williams of the New Mexico Oil and Conservation Division. “Since the price of a barrel of oil is so high now, companies can afford the high costs of re-activating gas and oil wells.”

It is costly to re-activate a closed well since all the original parts have since been removed, Williams said.

The Roosevelt County wells in Chavaroo Field produce one to two barrels of oil each day, Williams said.

The newly re-opened wells were closed down five to six years ago, Williams said. Oil sold at $15 a barrel then, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A barrel of oil now sells at $68, according to the NMOCD’s Web site.

Nancy Belcher, the Roosevelt County treasurer, said the last three tax months there has been no increase in revenue from oil production and equipment.

“But if they really are opening up some more wells, then we would expect an increase,” she said.

Orbit is the operator of 86 oil and gas wells in Chavaroo Field. They own 3,500 acres in Roosevelt and Chaves counties and 1,072 acres in Matagorda County, Texas, used for mining, oil and gas.