Brine Wells Sinking in Carlsbad

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A hydrologist says the ground is subsiding around two brine wells inside the Carlsbad city limits and could sink by an inch or two and tilt up to six degrees in some areas.

State Oil and Conservation Division hydrologist Jim Griswold told a community meeting last week that movement of the ground, buildings, subsurface utilities or roadways may become visible.

The division in April put Carlsbad brine operator I&W Trucking Inc. on notice for unsafe conditions. The company has since moved to another Carlsbad site.

Oil Conservation Division Chairman Mark Fesmire says two brine wells on the former site would pose a special danger in a collapse because the wells lie between U.S. 285 and 62-180 where they converge at a Carlsbad intersection.