07/25/2008By Juan-Carlos Rodriguez, Journal Staff Writer
Atrisco Finds Water Under the West Mesa
Atrisco Oil and Gas says it has found water on the West Mesa.
According to a notice of intent to the Office of the State Engineer, Atrisco plans to pump the water from its land on the West Side. Atrisco said Tecton Energy was drilling for oil or gas and found the nonpotable water. Atrisco says it will be able to draw up to 12,000 acre feet per year from the well.
The application does not say if the water is brackish or salinated. If it is, the water would have to undergo a costly treatment process.
“The water has been subject to preliminary tests on quality and quantity but must undergo a more extensive level of testing to determine economic viability,” Atrisco said in a statement released Thursday.
Tecton is leasing roughly 57,000 acres to drill for natural gas from Atrisco.
Atrisco Oil and Gas was formed by Sun-Cal Companies to manage mineral rights after the California land development company purchased the acreage for $250 million from the Atrisco land heirs.
The heirs split the mineral rights with SunCal, but continue to have sole rights to all the royalties for about 17,000 acres of the property leased for drilling before the sale.
The water was found on land where Atrisco has retained the mineral rights.