Texas Mineral Rights Versus Safety- How Far Back Should Gas Wells Be from Homes?


Texas Mineral Rights Versus Safety- How Far Back Should Gas Wells Be from Homes?

22 October 2006 at 11:26:44 AM

Some cities have set the distance a gas well can be from a home at 1000 feet. That doesn't set too well with people who want to have gas drilled on THEIR property and want the distance lowered to, oh, say, 300 feet. (Hello! Explosion! In the Subdivisions!) Article in the DMN talks about how lawsuits regarding this might be on the horizon if the cities who set larger setbacks don't shorten 'em up.

Most area cities set the distance between 300 feet and 600 feet. But Flower Mound, Trophy Club, Roanoke, Colleyville and Copper Canyon all require 1,000-foot setbacks. Grapevine is considering a similar ordinance.

Supporters of the 1,000-foot rule say it provides a buffer for noise as well as safety in the rare event of an accident.

But energy officials say a 1,000-foot buffer prevents mineral owners from capitalizing on valuable natural gas pockets. They could conceivably file a takings claim — and demand that a court force a municipality to pay for the value of the untapped minerals.

If you leave somebody with no ability to produce the minerals, then people won't have a choice,” said Larry Dale of Dallas-based Dale Resources, which specializes in urban drilling. “That's a risky stance for the cities to take because the damages could be enormous.”

Wah! Boo-hoo!

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