By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A Houston-based oil company is asking New Mexico regulators to change the rules to allow for more wells to be drilled in two northwestern counties, saying natural gas reserves have more to give if they can be accessed.
The request comes as an oil and gas boom has helped to refuel state coffers, with a recent record-breaking lease sale promising nearly a half-billion dollars more. But environmentalists and land owners are concerned about doubling well densities in part of the San Juan Basin.
The request by Hilcorp Energy Co. will be considered by the Oil Conservation Commission during a meeting Thursday.
Critics want regulators to put off a decision pending a thorough environmental review, saying more public scrutiny is needed.
An attorney for Hilcorp did not return a message seeking comment on the proposal.
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