SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico State Land Office has settled a trespassing claim against a Texas-based oil and gas company for $3.2 million.
The Land Office accused Salt Creek Midstream, LLC of doing construction work on state trust lands in Lea County without securing rights-of-way easements. The unauthorized disturbance was discovered in September.
The company said Friday that it began an investigation after being notified by the state and learned that its contractor had made a mistake. The company says it worked with the state to address the problem.
As part of the settlement, the company must reclaim all disturbed areas and provide a $250,000 reclamation bond.
Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says staffing shortages have made it difficult to keep up with challenges created by the oil boom in southeastern New Mexico.
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