A facility aimed at reducing truck traffic transporting commodities for the oil and gas industry is under construction in Eddy County near the Village of Loving.
The trans-loading terminal, being built and operated by Fort Worth, Texas-based CIG Logistics would offer transport of mostly sand for hydraulic fracturing, along with other materials from the extraction industry, via train cars.
CIG does not own the cars or the products, but provides a terminal and the management of transporting products such as piping, sand and equipment from well heads to other industrial facilities.
“We want more miles or rail, and less miles of truck,” said CIG CEO Jonathan Green in a Tuesday presentation to the Eddy County Board of County Commissioenrs. “It’s one thing to load quickly, it’s another to reduce congestion.”
By using trains, transporting the products can bypass county and city roads to bring products from the Loving area south of Carlsbad, to facilities near Artesia and the northern parts of the county.
Green said the facility will comprise 298 acres, and will hold 1,115 rail car spots.
On average, rail cars are loaded in about six minutes, he said.
Trucks will enter the facility on Potash Mines Road, Green said, and exit on Brantley Road.
Customers already at the facility, Green said, include Occidental Petroleum, WPX Energy and Preferred Sands.
He said the facility will initially hire 41 hourly employees, at an average wage of $36,000 per year, and three salaried management positions at about $80,000 per year.
“We do our best to hire in the community,” Green said. “That’s always plan A.”
Commissioner Susan Crockett commended CIG for the company’s “commitment to the community.” She said more jobs in the county are a top benefit of the project.
“I just can’t say enough about the jobs you’re creating and the money you’re bringing back,” Crockett said. “That’s really important to us.”
David Friesen, vice president of New Facility Construction, said CIG did not close any of its facilities throughout the Permian, Delaware and Midland basins during the extraction industry’s downturn.
He said CIG intends to work with every community that contains a facility.
“We’re not big oil and gas,” Friesen said. “We’re not about hanging up a bunch of signs at ball games, but we want to be part of the community because we affect peoples’ lives.”
Commissioner James Walterscheid said he was concerned about building the large facility near several local farms.
“I kind of hate to see some farmland go to this,” he said. “But that’s progress, I guess.”
Another concern held by Walterscheid, whose district contains the facility, was damage to county roads.
He said having a high-density of truck traffic going in and out of the facility could erode the roadways, leaving the county to pick up the bill for repairs.
Green said CIG intends to reinforce the entrance roads to the facility with concrete, which he said is more resilient than asphalt.
“Anytime you have that many trucks, especially on the turns, they tear up the roads,” Walterscheid said. “That’s a real problem down the road.”
Friesen said CIG could work to lobby the New Mexico Department of Transportation to make repairs on county roads near the facility.
He said the company is also in talks with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway in hopes of reinforcing several unprotected crossings along the railroad.
“Number one is safety,” Friesen said. “When you’re in the rail business, you look both ways.”