Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 19 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Nevada, New Mexico and California. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask.

Nevada – Nevada will soon join the increasing number of states benefitting from a hydraulic fracturing-fuels oil and gas boom.   A recent BLM auction in Elk County leased 36,000 acres to 29 different companies paying as much as $152 per acre.  Nevada’s shale resources are gaining increasing attention with Noble Energy recently drilling 20 exploratory wells about 400 miles north of Las Vegas. 

New Mexico – America’s next big oil shale play could be in New Mexico.  The Mancos Shale formation stretches from about 5,000 feet to 12,000 feet deep. Some estimates suggest that it could hold up to 30 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil.  Environmentalists are already expressing concerns about cumulative impacts on water availability because New Mexico is already home to significant industry operation using hydraulic fracturing to develop shallower gas-holding formations.

California – Here is a quick summary of the more significant hydraulic fracturing-related legislative efforts that are getting press in California:

  • AB 7 and AB 288:  both bills would require 30 days’ notice to the state before a well could be hydraulically fractured.
  • AB 395:  would require the Department of Toxic Substances Control to regulate hydraulic fracturing fluids as hazardous waste.
  • AB 649 and AB 1323: would establish an advisory committee to study science, risks, and to make regulatory recommendations.
  • AB 982: would require pre- and post-fracture ground water testing.
  • AB 1301:  would establish a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until hydraulic fracturing regulations are in place.
  • SB 4: would require company disclosure of different types of company data, including disclosure of the constituents of hydraulic fracturing fluid.