Andrea Felix’s New Mexico family heritage is a genealogist’s dream come true – or in her experience, “the best high school history paper ever.”
Her family’s local ties go back to the 1890s. Both of her great-great-great grandfathers homesteaded land in the Gobernador area within about 20 years of each other.
“My dad’s family, on both his parents’ sides, homesteaded here. And those original ranches are still operated by our family,” said Andrea, who helps plan new wells for WPX. “And my mother’s side of the family – they’re all longstanding farmers. We’ve all ranched and farmed our whole lives.”
And Andrea’s state ties don’t end there. Her paternal grandfather worked for a natural gas company in the area for 35 years. The first office Andrea worked in 12-13 years ago in the San Juan Basin was actually the last office her grandfather worked in.
“His family had the first home in the Rosa area, which they called the Gomez Homestead. It housed all the pipeliners when the first oil boom came to the San Juan around 1950,” she said.
“So I really feel that I’m coming from both worlds – working in energy and having a family legacy as a San Juan landowner.”
Her family now operates both the family cattle ranches, and Andrea said she can appreciate different perspectives of oil and gas, as a landowner and an employee.
“I come from both worlds. That’s what makes the San Juan Basin go round and round. Oil and gas and ranching,” she said.
When she talks to other locals about her role in the energy industry and life in the San Juan Basin, she says it “gets my adrenaline going” because it’s an exciting time.
“We are on the brink of a new frontier in San Juan energy development, she says. “Not everybody is as fortunate to experience something like this in their career, and I have so many more years to see this through.
“I want to keep my family legacy going.”