The Barnett Shale Oil and Gas Distribution... and Lawsuits


The Barnett Shale Oil and Gas Distribution... and Lawsuits

19 July 2006 at 9:25:06 AM

I've commented on this before, most recently about the GRISD school board looking for bids on O&G leases on the school land. Saw this on NorthTexasLiberal, which references information from Denton County (Argyle).

Here's what happened when some folks in an Argyle subdivision turned down an energy's company's request to lease their mineral rights. They got Denton City government to SUE.

Last month, the city of Denton sued Grapevine-based Reichmann Petroleum Corp., claiming the company was operating at area sites — including the one behind Cole’s home and a nearby well — without city approval. They also claimed the company broke other city regulations.

Since then, the drilling site behind Cole’s home has sat silent — evidence, she believes, the neighbors’ efforts are paying off.

“I don’t know exactly why they haven’t proceeded” in drilling at the site, Cole said. “In my opinion, it’s because of the pressure that has been put on them, and they know that it’s noncompliant.”


Stacie Fowler, a railroad commission spokeswoman, said the commission has no “setback” requirement, or statute that requires a wellhead to be a certain distance from structures such as homes. That power is left to cities, she said, although residents of unincorporated areas aren’t protected by cities’ setback requirements. However, the local government code, written by the Texas Legislature, does restrict the cities themselves: they cannot drill in the thickly settled part of the municipality or within 200 feet of a home.


Cole said the neighbors are fighting their battle against the odds.

“We have been told by the railroad commission that you cannot fight them; you will not win,” she said of gas-drilling companies. “And I think that’s probably what’s helped spur us on, because you have to do what you think is right.”

Barnett Shale Map

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