Two Permian Basin energy companies hoped to bolster emergency response in West Texas counties near Carlsbad through partnerships with local agencies on the New Mexico side of the region.
Beverly Allen, community representative from Chevron North America’s Mid-Continent Business Unit in Carlsbad, said her company and Cimarex Energy are arranging the Delaware Basin Emergency Response Initiative.
“We had an initial meeting with probably eight or nine of the (oil and gas) industry (members) working in the Delaware Basin to see what we can do to support the Texas side,” she said.
Allen made the announcement during the Nov. 2 Eddy County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Carlsbad after Chevron presented to a $65,000 donation to help Eddy County’s Office of Emergency Management and Eddy County Fire and Rescue (ECFR).
“Because for New Mexico and Eddy County we can’t thank you enough for covering the Texas side. I’m working with Culberson County to help with their capacity building, and Reeves and Pecos counties and I know (ECFR Chief) Josh (Mack) is helping with that as well,” she said.
Eddy County Manager Allen Davis said lines between states do not mean anything when it comes to emergencies.
“It’s just something on a sheet of paper. If the need is there and the call comes out. You come from wherever you can as quick as you can,” he said.
City of Carlsbad Fire Department Chief Richard Lopez said the department does not have mutual aid agreements with bordering Texas counties. But, will respond if asked.
“Depending on the oilfield. Sometimes we respond often. Sometimes we don’t. That’s a call by call,” he said. “There’s really not a mutual aid agreement with Texas.”
Lopez said the Carlsbad Fire Department did establish mutual aid agreements with various government entities throughout Eddy County.
“When we get a call to West Texas its normally in an area that we need to know who’s the fastest if its in an isolated area that we’re unsure if Texas can get to it first or we can,” he said. “Because there’s so many oilfield roads that you’re in and out of in New Mexico various times before you get to the location.”
According to the website Texas Drilling.com, a majority of oil and gas operations in Culberson County, Texas are south of Whites City and Loving.
Van Horn, Texas the county seat of Culberson County, is nearly two hours south of Carlsbad.
“Sometimes Texas isn’t available because all of their resources are used at the time. So, we’ll step in,” Lopez said.
He estimated Carlsbad fire personnel responded to about 12 emergency calls in West Texas over the past year.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.