Fossil Fuels: In December 1985, SFR reported on Black Ferrill No. 1, the first well in Santa Fe County to produce marketable amounts of crude oil. For oilman Bruce Black, the well represented success after more than 15 years of fruitless wildcatting in the county.
At the time, the well located between Cerrillos and Galisteo produced approximately 10 barrels a day. Each barrel could be sold for $28. However, not everyone predicted a black-gold rush.
“If you ask my opinion, I don’t think that Santa Fe is ever going to become an oil patch town like Hobbs or Farmington,” New Mexico petroleum geologist Roy Johnson said at the time—and so far, he’s been right.
According to data from the Socorro-based Petroleum Recovery Research Center, that inactivity resulted in the well producing only an average of 10 gallons of oil per year since 1993. Under the control of Tecton Energy, production reached a peak of 81 gallons in 2007.
Tecton is now trying to find a buyer for drilling rights.
Cable Vision: In 1978, Santa Fe Cablevision introduced HBO to the Santa Fe market via a 12-foot-high satellite dish, according to SFR’s archives.
Back then, HBO cost $9.95 per month on top of the $7.95 monthly charge for basic cable (adjusted for inflation, that’s approximately $58.45), which included four Los Angeles stations, a time-and-weather channel and a local public-affairs program.
Comcast is currently offering a $29.99 digital TV special that includes more than 270 channels—not a bad deal considering that with the June 12 digital television transition, rabbit ear antennae no longer function in many parts of the state.
Done Time: While SFR commemorates 35 years, another Santa Fe-based media institution, the Coalition For Prisoners’ Rights Newsletter, is packing it in.
Since 1976, the eight-page newsletter has served inmates and their families. The Coalition mailed out more than 9,100 copies in May 2009. But in July, the newsletter will drop to a single page.
Coordinator Mara Taub tells SFR CPR arrived at the decision last month when its debt matched its annual $25,000 budget.
“Things have actually improved since we made the decision,” Taub says. “We paid off two debts and what we have left is credit card debt, and we’re hoping to convert that into different kinds of loans. We’re just trying to be responsible.”
Taub says those who wish to subscribe to the one-pager should send 12 self-addressed, stamped envelopes to PO Box 1911 Santa Fe, NM 87504. The coalition also recommends appealing to Oprah at 1058 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, Ill. 60607.
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