New Mexico mulls new rules to allow water reuse for oilfield drilling

State environmental regulators in New Mexico are considering a proposed rule that would allow the reuse of produced water in oilfield drilling operations.

New Mexico Environment Department secretary, David Martin, said the department was working with the Oil Conservation Commission on a new rule that could help cut fresh water consumption by industry.

The draft of that rule was expected sometime this month.

Martin said the changes New Mexico was seeking to adopt were similar to those used in Texas, where produced water was already being reused in drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.

John Tintera, president of the Texas Water Recycling Commission, met with New Mexico environmental regulators and industry leaders earlier this year to help map out the proposed rule change.