Concho Resources Inc., a Texas-based oil company, announced last week that it acquired 16,400 net acres of southeastern New Mexico in a $430 million deal. The area purchased is in the northern Delaware Basin—much of it in the Red Hills area in Lea County. The area is part of the larger Permian Basin, which covers parts of West Texas and New Mexico, and is considered one of the nation's most promising regions for energy development. Earlier this month, the US Geological Survey announced that parts of the area could be expected to yield billions of barrels of oil—the largest estimate of continuous oil production they've ever made. Concho plans to increase its number of rigs in the Delaware Basin over the next year, and expects production volume to grow by about 20 percent. A large portion of the state's revenue comes from oil and natural gas production, and this year's poor returns caused numerous state budgetary cuts.
Retail Leasing Booms in Third Quarter
According to a report released by commercial real estate services firm CBRE, retail buildings made up much of Albuquerque's third-quarter leasing activity in 2016. Two hundred and fifty-six thousand square feet of construction has been completed to date—36 percent higher than construction completions in 2015, a number the report says was “unmatched during the past seven years.” Nearly half the leasing activity was in the redevelopment at Winrock Center in Uptown. However, the closing of two Sports Authority locations and a downsizing of Sears at Coronado Center caused the city to see a weak net absorption of leased retail space and an increase in the super-regional vacant space. The report states that some of this space will be filled during the fourth quarter, as new stores move into the spaces at Winrock Center. Projected vacancies for the fourth quarter will stay in the high 10 percent range due to the closure of temporary Halloween stores, voting locations and Hastings Entertainment Stores.
Grant Promotes Native Nurses
The $300,000 federal Indian Health Service grant will be providing financial aid for up to 20 Native American nursing students next year at the University of New Mexico and San Juan College in Farmington. Currently, there are only about 200 Native nurses in the state. The grant was created in the hopes of increasing that number and bringing more medical services to underserved areas of the state. The three-year grant program will “eliminate hardships” for students, providing $1,000 to $1,300 per semester to pay for tuition, books and fees and is being offered to Native American nursing students earning both associates degrees and bachelor of science degrees. It will also provide a “living stipend” of $1,300 each semester to pay for personal expenses, like housing or childcare. The program will accept 10 to 20 student in 2017, and could grow to 40 or 50 students by 2019. Native applicants can visit nursing.unm.edu for more information.