Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hi circle,

Some of you may or may not have received the email below and the emails yesterday about setting up a meeting to discuss drilling. I thought of some important questions we need answered before meeting. Most important question of all is WHERE ARE THE PROPOSED DRILL SITES? If we don’t know this answer we will all just sit around speculating about where they will drill and whether or not they can drill in our circle which I think all of us would be against. And to be clear, I am against drilling in the circle!

I called David at the Parks Dept and he clarified for me that as of right now drilling on parks is not allowed in Fort Worth and that this conversion is only to allow them to lease out the mineral rights owned by the city of FTW under the parks. He did not know where the possible drill sites might be, but gave me Jean Peter’s number who is in charge of gas leasing for the city. I left her a message.

The next important question is CAN THEY DRILL IN THE CIRCLE? and HAS ANYONE FILED FOR A HIGH IMPACT PERMIT FOR THE CIRCLE? Here’s some information about the permits:

Types of Wells:

High Impact Gas Well Permit is required if the proposed well is to be located within six hundred (600) feet of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital building, school or public park.

Urban Gas Well Permit is required if the proposed well is to be located between six hundred (600) feet and one thousand feet (1000) of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital building, school or public park.

Rural Gas Well Permit is required if the proposed well is to be located one thousand feet (1000) or more of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital building, school or public park.

And from the FAQ page:

How far must a well be from my property or public structures/areas?
The distance requirement is regulated by the city’s gas ordinance. No well may be drilled closer than 600 feet from any protected use such as a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital, school or public park without a waiver from the protected use owners or City Council approval.

What can I expect when a company is going to drill in my area?
A sign will be placed near the proposed well site advising that a permit application has been submitted. Notices will be sent to residents/property owners within 1000 feet of the well site. Additionally, staff sends a separate notice to residents/property owners if a proposed well is to be located within 1000 feet of any protected use. A pad generally 300’ X 300’ will be prepared and a drilling rig will move onto the location. The drilling rig will be on site for approximately 20 to 30 days actually “drilling” the well and running pipe into the open hole. After the well is drilled the drilling rig will move off. The rig move and drilling is a 24 hour operation and is probably the noisiest part of the operation. Shortly thereafter, well “completion” will begin and a smaller portable rig will move onto the location. After completion operations, surface equipment will be installed along with appropriate fencing and gates. From this point there will be minimal activity on the location. Occasionally a small rig will be brought to the location for remedial work.

Several other questions come to mind: How do we find out if we definitely own our mineral rights? Does the site size of 300x300 feet include the mobilization? If not, what is the total space needed to for the drill site? What kind of protection do we have from the workers roaming around the neighborhood- I live alone and don’t want to be harassed by them. Where will the water reservoir be located? Where will they get the water from? Where will they dispose of the water? How do they ensure the water and mud doesn’t runoff into our yards and pollute the lake? How many trucks will be driving in and out daily? Isn’t Watercress protected from truck traffic? How will truck traffic impact our roads? Can we have protected from foundation problems for 5+ years at least since urban drilling is still so new that they have no idea how it will impact our foundations? Was that staking on the circle related to a prospective drill site?
Michael Dalla

I am sure I will think of many more questions, but I think the most important question is Where are they thinking about drilling?

Response from Michael Dallas

FACT: There is no "WHERE" on well locations right now. That is THE big concern. The city council has put this in the hands of the engineering department.

My limited understanding (paraphrased) is that bids come back from gas companies with maps marked with "X"'s (drill sites, etc.) Engineering then "works on it," (whatever that means) proposes a plan, and chooses the bids. My best wild guess is that once engineering proposes the plans (and the drill sites), it will be much more difficult to change.

FACT: Everyone wants the money. No one wants a well in their yard.

In the end, the neighbors may have to come up with a proposal of where to put these monsters. Potentially, we could have a situation where everyone can't be happy. We need to start working on the "how we decide" problem. Right now we have no maps with x's. We do have the start of a conversation of questions that need to be answered.

Keep asking. Keep talking.

Michael Dallas
Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association