Lea & Eddy County’s Rig Count Benefits Economy But Increases Dangerous & Deadly Trucking Traffic

Posted on October 10, 2022

The Hobbs News Sun reported this week that Lea County, New Mexico’s active drilling rig count totals 71 rigs. This amount places it as the leading active rig county in the entire country and only surpassed by the entire state counts of New Mexico and Texas. Lea County’s total active rig count is around 2/3 of the 111 active rigs statewide in New Mexico. In the list compiled by oilfield service company Baker Hughes, Eddy County, New Mexico (home to Carlsbad, Artesia, Loving, and Malaga) had 37 active rigs. Thus, Eddy County and Lea County combined are home to 108 of New Mexico’s 111 active rigs.

As noted in the article, the massive active rig numbers are great for the economy. The active rigs in Eddy and Lea Counties in New Mexico provide thousands of jobs to families in Southeastern New Mexico and the Permian Basin. However, the article also notes the large active rig counts present dangers to these areas by the increase in traffic on rural roads in the form of oilfield services trucks, welding trucks, water hauling trucks, company trucks, frac trucks, and other commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers. The article goes on to quote Lea County Commission Chairman Dean Jackson as stating the roads traveling to and from Lea County’s rig sites require the oilfield worker to “fight the very dangerous roads.”

Over the past several years, the spike and increase in oil and gas production in Lea County, Eddy County, and across the Permian Basin and Delaware Basin has been an engine for jobs and the economy, but also brought increased in deadly and dangerous traffic to the communities of Hobbs, Lovington, Eunice, Jal, Carlsbad, Artesia, Malaga, and all other communities in Southeast New Mexico. The rise in deadly and dangerous traffic and increased trucking crash and accident fatalities caused the State of New Mexico to enact Safety Corridors on many of the major oilfield service roads in Lea and Eddy County, including State Highway 128 going east/west through Jal and also US Highway 285 which runs south from Roswell down through Artesia, Carlsbad, Loving, and into West Texas. Highway 285 was nicknamed the “Death Highway” for the amount of fatalities caused by crashes on the road, many of which involved an oilfield service commercial vehicle or semi truck.

Hopefully you and your family never suffer injury or death on one of the heavy oilfield traffic roads of Lea County or Eddy County. But if you or someone you know are injured or killed in Southeast New Mexico or West Texas highways, make sure to contact an experienced and local personal injury attorney like Stout & Stout Lawyers.

Stout & Stout Lawyers have nearly 75 years fighting for the rights of people living in Southeast New Mexico, West Texas, and all across the Permian Basin. They have decades of experience handling trucking cases, oilfield accidents, burn cases, and all types of injury or wrongful death claims.

To collect personal injury damages such as lost wages and pain and suffering, often times filing a lawsuit is required. However, many cases can be handled through insurance claims or settlements or uninsured motorists coverage claims (UM/UIM). To see if you are entitled to collect personal injury damages or compensation for your personal injury claim or your family member’s wrongful death claim, contact Stout & Stout Lawyers today for a free consultation.