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Director: Oil Conservation Division

Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department


The Oil Conservation Division Director directs and oversees the Division’s statewide statutory and regulatory responsibilities with respect to oil and gas production. The Division gathers oil and gas well production data, permits new oil, gas, and injection wells, enforces the Division’s rules, develops administrative orders to which operators are subject, enforces the State’s oil and gas statutes, ensures abandoned wells are properly plugged and that the land is responsibly restored once production activities are completed. The OCD’s goals are to promote balanced, consistent, fair, and transparent regulation of the oil and gas industry, to prevent the waste of oil and gas resources within the state, to protect the correlative rights of resource owners, to foster efficient development, and to protect human health and the environment. The Division Director supervises 87 full time equivalent employees, both technical and administrative, within the Division’s programs. Additionally, the Director serves as the Chair of the Oil Conservation Commission. The position reports to the Cabinet Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources and is appointed by the Governor.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the Division’s multi-million-dollar budget consisting of fees, state, and federal funds
  • Responsible for policy initiatives and strategic planning for the Division
  • Oversees federal grants and contracts
  • Conducts oil and gas-related legislative analysis, testimony, policy development, and program evaluation
  • Coordinates and collaborates with various stakeholders including the public, oil and gas operators, numerous state and federal agencies, tribes, and local governments in permitting, inspecting, and enforcing activities at oil and gas sites statewide
  • Directs and manages evaluations of permits and plans for administrative and technical adequacy
  • Accepts responsibility for the approval/denial of oil and gas associated permits and Director’s Orders related to the implementation of the NM Oil and Gas Act
  • Briefs Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary on oil and gas-related issues in New Mexico
  • Develops and applies policies, rules, and regulations related to oil and gas
  • Lead 87 Division staff, technical and administrative, executing on policy priorities, statutes, and regulations
  • Chairs Oil Conservation Commission which hears rulemaking petitions, permit applications and contested cases, etc. using the knowledge of the oil and gas industry to make judicious decisions based upon facts presented at hearing
  • Works with the Department public information officer to response to public and media inquiries related to oil and gas


As defined in the New Mexico Oil and Gas Act, the director shall

  1. be a resident of this state; and 
  2. be registered by the state board of registration for professional engineers and land surveyors as a petroleum engineer; OR 
  3. by virtue of education and experience have expertise in the field of petroleum engineering.  

    Other qualifications include:

    • Compelling interest in leadership development, human capital management, and/or organizational development
    • Experience overseeing a complex budget
    • Working knowledge of majority of aspects of the oil and gas industry
    • Proven ability to use analytical skills to assess large volumes of qualitative and quantitative data, find patterns and core issues, and present fact-based recommendations
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including editing and public speaking
    • Strong project management and organization skills, with proven ability to juggle multiple competing demands
    Please send cover letter and resume using the form below.

    Interested in the position? Let us know.

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    The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is located on the fourth floor of the New Mexico State Capitol in Room 400.

    490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400
    Santa Fe, NM 87501

    Phone: (505) 476-2200
    Toll free: (833) 520-0020

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