Sunday, April 4, 2010

What will the communities on the Barnett Shale look like 20 years from now?

We have featured some of Elizabeth Burns from Rancho Los Malulos videos on this blog before. She states that her blog is "a satire about life on a 38,000 acre ranch in the South Texas oilfield. ExxonMobil's eco-friendly tv commercials during the 2008 Olympic games provoked me into action."

Her husband’s family, the McGills, purchased about 38,000 acres in 1935. Shortly after, the McGill brothers signed an oil and gas lease with Humble Oil Company (ExxonMobil). No one in the McGill family lived on the ranch until Elizabeth and her family moved there.

Soon they noticed how poorly maintained the land was. In fact Chevron and ExxonMobil are not doing much on the land. They tried to file a gross negligence lawsuit but nothing changed. She has this to say.

I am of the opinion that the bean counters that came up with the idea of keeping the proven reserves on the books, did not take into account what happens 10 years down the road when the infrastructure is left unused and un-maintained. Things will continue to leak, explode, fall over and catch on fire. People should be concerned because this ranch contains some of the most critical infrastructure in Texas -- all concentrated in one place.

This is a good example of what can happen years down the road after the oil and gas companies are gone. Ms. Burns deals with what is left behind everyday. Could this be in our future?

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