New Mexico Communitization Agreements: A Comprehensive Guide

Communitization agreements are an essential aspect of the oil and gas industry, and New Mexico is no exception. These agreements help manage the extraction of resources, promote resource conservation, and protect the interests of both landowners and oil and gas companies. In this article, we’ll discuss what communitization agreements are, their importance, and the key facts you need to know about them in New Mexico.

What are Communitization Agreements?

Communitization agreements are contracts between two or more parties – usually oil and gas companies and landowners. They enable the pooling of assets and the management of oil and gas resources.

The agreements allow multiple landowners to come together to form a single production unit, which is then exploited by a single operator. In New Mexico, the agreements allow for the pooling of small tracts of land that are not individually large enough for drilling, but which collectively hold significant oil and gas resources.

Why are Communitization Agreements Important?

Communitization agreements help expedite drilling and production by streamlining the permitting process. They also enable the maximization of extraction through efficient resource management.

For landowners, communitization agreements provide a way to benefit from oil and gas exploration while minimizing the disruption to their land. They receive compensation for the use of their resources while the operator is responsible for managing the drilling and production activities.

For oil and gas companies, communitization agreements reduce the cost of exploration and drilling by reducing the number of permits required. They also ensure the efficient management of resources and reduce the risk of unnecessary downtime due to lack of available land for drilling.

Key Facts about Communitization Agreements in New Mexico:

1. The Oil Conservation Division (OCD) of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) is responsible for overseeing the communitization agreement process.

2. Communitization agreements follow a standardized process, which includes the submission of a written application to the OCD.

3. The application must include specific details about the proposed communitization unit, including the acreage, the number of tracts involved, and the estimated production potential.

4. All landowners affected by the proposed unit must be notified and given an opportunity to participate in the agreement.

5. The communitization agreement must be approved by the OCD, and all parties must sign the agreement before drilling and production activities can commence.


Communitization agreements are an essential aspect of the oil and gas industry in New Mexico. These agreements enable the pooling of assets and the efficient management of resources, providing benefits for both landowners and oil and gas companies. Understanding the communitization agreement process and its requirements is critical for anyone involved in oil and gas exploration and production in New Mexico. Contact your local energy attorney or the OCD for additional guidance and clarification.