When Pennzoil sold the ranch to Turner in 1996, it retained mineral rights. Turner, however, was able to impose upon the company strict environmental controls for natural gas extraction. In 1999 Pennzoil sold its mineral rights to El Paso Natural Gas . By 2011, there were 970 natural gas wells on the ranch, 840 of them in New Mexico and 130 in Colorado.  Although touting the coalbed methane production at Vermejo Park Ranch as environmentally friendly, El Paso Natural Gas ran into public opposition when it attempted to exploit natural gas resources in the neighboring publicly owned area of Valle Vidal. In 2007, Congress withdrew the 101,794 acres of Valle Vidal from energy development and mining.