Drilling Deep In this KUNM series, reporter Laura Paskus will be exploring natural gas drilling and the burgeoning oil industry in northwestern New Mexico--its benefits, impacts, and future.
Drilling Deep

Drilling Deep


In this KUNM series, reporter Laura Paskus will be exploring natural gas drilling and the burgeoning oil industry in northwestern New Mexico--its benefits, impacts, and future.

Most Recent Episodes

Remember That Huge Methane Plume?

In 2014, NASA announced they'd found that the largest plume of methane gas in North America was right here in New Mexico. At the time, scientists didn't know exactly where the methane was coming from – but now they've completed some research and published their findings .

Gas Flaring Does More Than Light Up the Skies

Away from any cities or streetlights, the nights here at Chaco Culture National Historic Park are dark. Looking up, it takes a little longer than usual to spot even the most familiar constellations. That's because there are so many more stars visible across Orion's shoulders or surrounding Gemini's twins.

Drilling Opponents Want BLM To Consider Cumulative Effects

There used to be big talk about a big boom coming to the San Juan Basin. Industry thought they'd sink 20,000 new oil wells. Companies wanted to take advantage of oil deposits squeezed into tiny fissures in tight shale deep underground.

Oil And Gas Technology Drives Farmington Economy

Thanks to technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, New Mexico is one of the top natural gas producers in the world – 27 th according to the latest annual numbers from 2012 just released by the American Petroleum Institute. But there's more to the economics of drilling than just counting rigs and tallying profits. Heading into Farmington, New Mexico, the highway is packed with tanker trucks and muddy pickups with fluttery orange flags. It also offers a roadside lesson in

The Hunt For The Source Of Four Corners Methane

Scientists published a paper on methane levels across the globe last year—and their satellite images show the largest methane anomaly in the United States hovers over northwestern New Mexico. Now, some of the nation's top scientists have come here to figure out where all that methane's coming from. The satellite image of the methane plume splashed across the national and international news last fall. And it's easy to see why: the Four Corners shows up as an ugly welt of yellow, red and orange

Pipeline Plan Ignites Controversy

UPDATE 2/12: All told, the BLM ended up receiving about 30,000 comments on the proposed Piñon Pipeline. That's according to Victoria Barr of the BLM's Farmington Field Office who discussed oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico on the KUNM Call In Show . +++ For some eight decades, companies have drilled for natural gas in the San Juan Basin. There are thousands of miles of gas pipelines networked across northwestern New Mexico, but plans to transport crude oil out of the same area

Voices from Drilling Deep: Etta Arviso

Etta Arviso is one of the Diné – or, Navajo – women who I met last year in Counselor, New Mexico. She is an "allottee ," which means her family lives on land adjacent to the Navajo reservation that is held in trust by the United States government. In this audio clip, she introduces herself, talks about the history of her homeland and people, and voices her opposition to increased oil and gas development on the checkerboard lands of the eastern Navajo Nation. When Arviso mentions the Long Walk,

Voices From Drilling Deep: Mark Martinez

In October, Pueblo of Zuni Councilman Mark Martinez and I viewed Chaco Canyon National Historical Park from above during an ecoFlight tour. Martinez was interested in flying above the park to see the remains of ancient buildings and roads. And also to see nearby drill rigs, old and new. The Pueblo of Zuni is just one of the tribes that asked the federal government to protect Chaco Canyon. Last spring, the All Pueblo Council of Governors passed a resolution supporting protection of the UNESCO

Voices From Drilling Deep: Mike Eisenfeld

While reporting this series, it's really easy to end up with more voices and moments than can ever be plopped into the four-minute feature stories that air on KUNM . That's why o ver the course of this project, I'll be sharing some of those moments with you online. In December, I met up with Mike Eisenfeld with the San Juan Citizen's Alliance. The alliance is one of the groups that is asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to hold off on approving new permits for oil wells until it can study

"...Like A War Zone": Worries About Increased Oil Drilling

Sarah Jane White's walking to the top of a sandy hill near the eastern edge of the Navajo reservation. Along the way, she points to footprints in the sand. Her 4-year-old grandson, Albino, crouches to look. She shows him the prints of a horse, then a cow. Each time, he's delighted. It's sunny and warm, though just a few days before the official start of winter. We walk past juniper trees, an old sweat lodge. Albino powers across the sandstone arroyo and on up the hill. The sky's a deep blue. And

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