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Companies face penalties for well violations in New Mexico

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Spill near Carlsbad

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State oil and gas regulators have issued notices to two companies for violating their permits for wastewater injection wells in southeastern New Mexico. The Oil Conservation Division said Tuesday that the civil penalties include more than $2 million against XTO Permian Operating for violations at four wells, and $7,200 against Mewbourne Oil Company for violations at one well. Division officials said the violations undermine their ability to ensure that wastewater disposal wells are properly constructed. The state updated its guidelines last year following an increase in seismic activity in the Permian Basin that was believed to be associated with injection wells.