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Oil Company Sues Over Neighbor’s Fracking

GALLUP, N.M. (CN) - One oil company has sued another in Federal Court, claiming the defendant's fracking is ruining the wells from which the plaintiff extracts its oil and gas.

Parko sued Encana Oil & Gas on Nov. 21. Both companies work oil wells in Sandoval County, an enormous (3,714 square mile) county north of Albuquerque that extends west and north of Santa Fe.

Parko claims that when Encana started using fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, the fluid injected escaped from Encana's leaseholds and invaded Parko's.

Both companies drill in the Gallup Formation, a giant underground reservoir that has produced 920 billion cubic feet of gas and 173 million barrels of oil, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Parko claims, in essence, that Encana's fracking altered the geology of its adjacent wells, ruining them.

"Defendant's fracking operations ... caused fractures within the Gallup formation thereby allowing injected fluids and sediments to invade plaintiff's leasehold interests and the production areas of the affected wells, which physically damaged or destroyed and/or altered subterranean geologic features and required plaintiff to rework its wells," the complaint states.

Parko seeks damages for negligence, trespass, and bad-faith trespass.

It is represented by Ernest Padilla of Santa Fe.

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