Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Onerous" and proud of it

Today's DMN has an article discussing the reasons that production companies have put a stop to the $25K leasing bonuses. It goes on to state that furthermore, many have stopped leasing altogether and are moving their rigs to the Haynesville Shale near Shreveport.

One section of the article, in particular caught my eye: [the highlights are mine]

On top of the global economic troubles, Chesapeake faces neighborhood protests and new restrictions on urban drilling. The company chose to retreat to the areas that have already welcomed its rigs.

"When you have so much opportunity and so much clamoring, it doesn't make sense to work in areas that are onerous to do business in," Ms. Wilson said. [Ms. Wilson is Chesapeake's VP of Corporate Development.]

It's good to know that they've heard us. It doesn't mean the battle is over, but I think we should take some comfort in knowing that fighting urban drilling at the local level has had some very positive results.

So, just call me "onerous" (and proud of it)!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cherokee Horn's latest attempt to snooker Northshore residents

Cherokee Horn's latest mailing touts their association with "Titan Operating, LLC". The mailing explains that Titan will be the operator and will be responsible for "permitting, drilling, and management of the well sites." It continues that "Cherokee Horn will continue to manage all leasing efforts."


In the last paragraph it says that they have enough acreage to start their next begin drilling. They add that they need to hear from you asap as they're "finalizing our preliminary pooling unit."

So what?

They want you to think that a) Texas has forced pooling and if you don't sign you'll just be left out. (It doesn't work this way.) b) that they've now got enough acreage leased and that it's just a matter of paperwork to get the application finalized and to get started drilling.

It's not that simple. Here's why.

While an approval for a drilling application may be a slam dunk at the Texas Railroad Commission, it's not with the Town of Flower Mound. The proposed drilling at Northshore cannot take place without approvals for multiple variances to the Town's O&G ordinance.

That is not going to happen any time soon--if ever. Ask Red Oak about their attempts to obtain variances to drill at the Riverwalk site--they've been denied twice and have now filed suit against the Town.

Northshore will be many, many times harder to obtain variances than Riverwalk. Northshore has literally hundreds of residents within 1,000 feet of the proposed drill sites. (There are two proposed sites--north and south ends of the property.) Riverwalk's most recent proposal (which was denied in June 2008) didn't have any residences within 1,000 feet of the proposed drill site.

The O&G Board of Appeals has been very outspoken in their opposition to locating drilling closer to residences than the 1,000 feet mandated in the O&G ordinance.

We are grateful for their steadfastness. They are protecting the citizens of the Town and in particular, those residents who live close to the proposed drill sites.

And while Cherokee Horn can argue that "you're gonna miss out if you don't sign now--drilling's just around the corner"; that statement is absolutely false and is nothing more than an attempt to scare people into signing a lease because "it's gonna happen anyway."

Well it's not. Drilling is not inevitable.

And that is why we fight it and that is why we will continue to do so.

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Evening with the Oil & Gas Accountability Project

An Evening with the
Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP)

Environmental, Public Health and Community Issues
Associated with Gas Development

Monday, October 20, 2008
7:00 p.m.

University Christian Church
2720 South University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76109

Forum Speakers:

Gwen Lachelt, Director, OGAP
Oil & Gas Development in the U.S. : Community Issues and Organizing for Reform, Co-founder of OGAP, Gwen Lachelt’s mission is to protect homeowners and the environment from the impacts of oil and gas development. She has dedicated her career to reforming oil and gas policies and practices and has led precedent-setting campaigns to protect landowner rights, public health and the environment from oil and gas development throughout the U.S.

Jennifer Goldman, Public Health & Toxics Campaign Director, OGAP
Public Health Issues Associated with Oil and Gas Development
Jennifer Goldman works with communities across the U. S. and Canada on oil and gas reform efforts that address the environmental, social and public health impacts of dirty energy.

Wilma Subra, Subra Company
Oil and Gas Field Chemicals and Monitoring
Founder of the Subra Company and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award, Wilma Subra provides technical research and evaluation assistance to communities
in paving the way for policy changes impacting environmental
and human health issues at the state and federal level.


Presented by
The Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods
and The League of Women Voters of Tarrant County

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday night's O&G Board of Appeals meeting

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, the 15th, 6:30pm at Town Hall) the O&G Board of Appeals will consider variances to the setback requirements for two proposed gas wells in the far western portion of Flower Mound. The property is a 371 acre tract, which is located north of 1171, west of Red Rock Lane, south of Freeman Road, and east of Tour 18.

According to the Town's assigned case manager, there are several variances that are being requested including variances to environmentally sensitive areas, upland habitats, and property lines.

In addition, there is one residence that is located less than 1,000 feet from the proposed drill site. The case manager stated that the residence is approximately 950 feet from the site and that the homeowner has written a letter and has also called the Town indicating his support for the well.

Public comments will be taken at the beginning of the meeting (these should be general in nature.) Then, if you wish to speak specifically about these variance requests, you can do that later in the meeting.

Personally, I believe that this application is one which doesn't meet the "highly residential area" criteria, and as such should probably be permitted.

Your thoughts?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Good News Bad News

While our 401(k)'s are in a world of hurt, so are the gas developers.

Chesapeake's stock has fallen to below $20 from its high in July of almost $70. Furthermore, Chesapeake has announced that they're cutting back production:

And to add insult to injury, last week the Ft. Worth City Council voted (for the FIRST time!) to reject Chesapeake's request for a high-impact drilling permit, which would have placed a well within 225 feet of residences:

Finally, today Chesapeake announced that its "Shale TV" production has been halted. (Remember the publicity when Tracy Rowlett was hired???)

Stay vigilant.