New Mexico

Leak Detection and Repair

New Mexico does not require any LDAR program other that that required by the Oil and Gas NSPS.

Operators are required to conduct their operations in a manner that prevents waste of oil and gas and shall not wastefully utilize oil or gas or allow either to leak or escape from a natural reservoir or from wells, tanks, containers, pipe or other storage, conduit or operating equipment. 19.15.2.8(B).

Venting and/or Flaring

Operators are required to conduct their operations in a manner that prevents waste of oil and gas and shall not wastefully utilize oil or gas or allow either to leak or escape from a natural reservoir or from wells, tanks, containers, pipe or other storage, conduit or operating equipment. 19.15.2.8(B) NMAC.

After an operator completes the well, gas cannot be vented, used in engines or pumps then vented, or used to gas-lift wells unless all gas produced is processed in a gasoline plant or beneficially used thereafter without waste. 19.15.19.10 NMAC.

The definition of waste includes destruction without beneficial use (i.e., flaring) and the loss of gas without beneficial use resulting from leakage. 19.15.2.7(W)(1)(b) NMAC.

CASINGHEAD GAS: An operator shall not flare or vent casinghead gas produced from a well after 60 days following the well's completion. An operator seeking an exception shall file an application with the appropriate division district office. The district supervisor may grant an exception when the flaring or venting casinghead (a simple metal flange welded or screwed onto the top of the conductor pipe or the casing and forms part of the wellhead system for the well) gas appears reasonably necessary to prevent waste or prevent undue hardships on the applicant. The district supervisor shall either grant the exception within ten days after the application's receipt or refer it to the director who shall advertise the matter for public hearing if the applicant desires a hearing. No extraction plant in the state shall flare or vent casinghead gas unless flaring or venting is made necessary by mechanical difficulty of a very limited temporary nature or unless the gas flared or vented is of no commercial value. In the event of a more prolonged mechanical difficulty or curtailment for other reasons, or in the event a plant is unable to accept, process and market all of the casinghead gas produced by wells connected to its system, the plant operator shall notify the division as soon as possible of the full details of the curtailment, following which the division shall take such action as is necessary to reduce the total flow of gas to the plant. The operator shall burn all gas produced and not used, and report the estimated volume. 19.15.18.12 NMAC.

However, “open burning” of natural gas is allowed ad compressor stations and when produced in drilling, completion and workover operations when it is necessary to avoid serious hazard to safety. 20.2.60.109 NMAC.