Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Like a good neighbor....Williams tries to steal your minerals

Adding on to their attempt to steal minerals from the Town of Flower Mound, Williams has scheduled two Rule 37 hearings, both to take place (likely in the same hearing) on July 27, 2011. The Rule 37 hearings are for the 5H and 6H wells on the Dr. Bob Smith B East pad against two Flower Mound home/mineral owners.

Oddly enough, you won't find anything in the "Corporate Responsibility" section of their website about taking minerals that aren't theirs. It appears as homeowners, the "choices" are to sign a lease against your will or likely have your property taken. As some of the industry folks and those who regulate them like to say, "There are consequences for not signing."

I think the Mafia uses that line too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shale gas....Not the Big Deal after all?

By now most of you have seen this article about how shale gas is not the big deal the industry wants us to think it is. The article mentions Deborah Rogers. If you have not had an opportunity to hear her talk about the "shale's", you are missing out. She has a great perspective and is loaded with information to back it up.

Click here to see Deborah Rogers speech at the Earthwork's-Oil and Gas Accountability Project's Oil & Gas Summit in Pittsburgh in November 2010.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Environmental Issue With Gas Drilling

We believe more attention should be brought to this issue. Mining for fracking sand.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gas Drilling....The Next Asbestos?

Many of us from the beginning of this fight have said we are worried about the long term effects of natural gas drilling on our health and quality of life. This is an interesting little article about just that.
Click here to read about Shale Gas - Next Asbestos.

No wonder our elected officials in Austin keep trying to take the right to sue away from us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flower Mound Town Council Extends Moratorium and Discusses Ordinances

Last night Flower Mound Town Council voted to extend the gas drilling moratorium until the proposed new Oil and Gas Ordinance is discussed and voted in. Matt Woods, Director of Environmental Resources, gave a great presentation of the recommendations by the Oil & Gas Advisory Board. The Oil & Gas Advisory board recommendations addressed many concerns about regulation and protection for the residents of Flower Mound.

For those of you that missed the Flower Mound Town Council meeting last night, click here to watch. The town has it broken into sections.

Music, Cocktails and Gas

The Dallas Observer and the Oak Cliff Conservation League is sponsoring a showing of the movie Gasland. June 27th @ 7:00pm. See info below.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Industry Propaganda Comes In Many Shapes and Now Color

Apparently the industry is having a hard time getting adults to buy the "gas drilling is safe" idea so they have started to target kids. Talisman Energy out of Calgary has put together a coloring book called "Talismans Terry's Energy Adventure"! Terry is a cute and lovable Fracosaurus!

Click here for your very own copy to print off for your kids.

Oh yeah, you might want to add the part where it explains how much water is used and contaminated. Oh yeah, don't forget to draw a pretty picture of the thick black smoke coming from all the trucks and equipment. Maybe add a nice drawing of a gas mask that can be colored and cut out.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gas Drilling Impact On Mortgages......

An interesting article appeared in the New York Capitol News about fracking and mortgages. A task force was commissioned by Tomkin County to look at Mortgages and Gas Drilling. Click here to read Task Force Report. After reading the report, it got us thinking about what a big issue this will most likely become for many of us living near gas drilling. No. 4 on the list was concerning.

4) Secondary Market requirements state (Freddie Mac guide 39.4 (m)) that lenders must warrant the following, each of which would not be possible with gas/oil leases in place. These leases restrict use of the property by the borrower and there is not reliable data to support what impact a gas lease has on value or marketability:
a. . ..must not interfere with the use and enjoyment of any present or proposed improvements on the mortgaged premises or with the use and enjoyment of the balance of the Mortgage Premises not occupied by improvements.
b. . ..must not affect the marketability of the Mortgaged Premises
c. . ..must have no or minimal effect on the value of the Mortgaged Premises
d. . ..must be commonly acceptable to private institutional Mortgage investors in the area ...
Banks could not warrant any of these issues due to lack or comparable sales and details regarding gas leases attached to other properties.

We can only assume that as time goes on that this could impact all of us on the shale. We spoke with local Real Estate Agents and they have started to see documents at closing in the last year where the seller has to sign an affidavit that states that the minerals are not leased and there is not drilling on the premises. This is a document coming from the lender. There is also concern among some of the local agents we spoke with that the mineral leases will impact the ability for a seller to sell their home given the reduced ability to get a mortgage on that property for a prospective buyer. This is not a good thing unless your mineral payments are greater than the value of your home or land you are selling. We already know that unless you own a large piece of property and have signed surface and mineral rights, the "mailbox money" is no where close to the value of your home. Even then, if you do not sell your mineral rights with your property, that would devalue the property for the future buyer. Also as seen in a previous post from last year, this issue has caused some lenders to refuse to finance or re-finance the property. We received info from one of our friends on the Marcellus Shale about property owners having difficulty with lenders financing properties that have surface and sub-surface gas drilling activity or existing mineral leases. Click here to read all about it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flower Mound Town Council to Discuss Oil & Gas and Pipeline Ordinances

Monday, June 20th, the Town Council will review and discuss the draft Oil and Gas and Pipeline Ordinances/related Comparison Charts at their meeting. No items will be considered for adoption at this meeting. For more info the pipeline ordinance and the oil and gas ordinance, click here.

The Oil and Gas Advisory Board met for 6 months. In the beginning the meetings were twice a month and then moved to weekly meetings. A lot of great recommendations were submitted. The town recognizes that there is still some work to do. It is important the the residents continue to submit comments and ideas.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Titan waives the white flag and gives up on $350,000 in top-line Revenue in Lewisville.

FMCAUD has been working with several other communities on gas drilling issues including Rule 37’s. In a recent case in Lewisville, a homeowner had filed a Rule 37 protest for the B & H (NE) Unit. Titan modified the permit with the RRC to shorten their well lateral by ~120’ (roughly equivalent to $350,000 in revenue at current market prices) in order to avoid a hearing with the RRC in Austin. In exchange for Titan not to drill directly under her property, this particular homeowner offered to negotiate for a waiver to forgo the hearing. Titan chose to not negotiate with this homeowner, citing FMCAUD’s likely action to contact other mineral owners in the area, even though a written agreement was subsequently offered not to take any additional action on this particular well.

What business would give up on sure revenue (and profit) and why? We have many theories, but we would like to hear yours.

No...the are not fracking on Hilliard.

The rig on Hilliard is not for fracking. It is work-over rig on site doing routine gas well maintenance. For more info on Workover Rigs click here.

The town will be adding info on this to the Gas Well Status Report.

The rig will be on the Hilliard site for about a week.

Last week, Heath Consultants, were on site. From Heath's website:

We are a manufacturer and consulting firm that provides a variety of products and services for the utility protection and damage prevention markets. Heath Consultants Incorporated was founded in 1933, with an initial focus on leak detection for the natural gas industry.
Through the years, Heath has expanded its products and services with a goal of becoming the world leader in utility protection and damage prevention. From portable gas detectors, confined space monitors, pipe and cable locators, to water leak detection equipment, Heath provides leading edge products and instruments. Gas leak investigation and inspections, underground utility damage prevention, water accountability and training are among the specialties which make Heath Consultants an expert in utility services. Innovation and an active research and development team consisting of engineers and marketing experts keep up with the ever changing market demands to provide state-of-the-art services and products.

As of today, no fracking schedule has been submitted by Titan. No ruling has been handed down on the Rule 37 protests either.

Thinking of moving off the Barnett Shale……..

We have put together a list States that currently have drilling activity, have had drilling activity in the past, about to have drilling, being looked at for drilling and have gas transmission pipelines running through them.

Why worry about the past? Communities sprout up all the time and some are in areas where some type of drilling or mining has happened many years before. Most people would want to know what went on before they got there.

Why worry about what is about to happen or what could happen? Just ask many of us in the Barnett Shale how important that question is. Most of us had no idea what was below us when we moved here.

List of States that currently have drilling or have had drilling:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming

States about to be hit by drilling

North Carolina.

South Carolina.!/

States with gas and oil leases signed and being looked at but no drilling activity

Oregon and Washington State.
“Thick basalt flows overlay the potential reservoirs, making exploration and development costly. With rising gas prices, advances in technology, and the lack of previous development, there has been a dramatic interest in oil and gas leases in Oregon and Washington in the past few years. Half of the revenue derived from leasing and royalties is returned to the state where the leases are located. Currently there are more than 300 federal leases representing about 500,000 acres in Oregon and Washington. There are currently no active oil and gas drilling or exploration sites in Oregon or Washington.”

Minnesota and Wisconsin.
This u-tube video explains why this area of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa has potential for drilling.

Don’t count out under the Great Lakes. The United States largest fresh water resource.

You can add the following states that have transmission pipelines, which would include the above states. Remember, where there is a pipeline, there will compressor stations.

Missouri and Georgia.


Watch where you move if you’re going to New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Include Maryland, New Hampshire and Maine.

Add Illinois. Keystone brings hot, corrosive crude from the Tar Sands of Canada. This map also includes the new proposed Keystone XL route.

Plans for more pipelines.

Natural Gas Storage

Natural gas is stored in two basic ways – compressed in tanks as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or in large underground storage facilities such as depleted gas wells, salt caverns or rock caverns, abandoned mines, and aquifers.

This map was as of 12/2007. The amount of gas storage has increased since this map. Texas alone has added gas storage facilities.

This is a good map of Williams Transco pipelines which shows gas storage areas as well.

I think that leaves Vermont, who currently gets their natural gas from Canada and others. And Hawaii. I couldn’t find a map with their gas transmission pipelines but we have to assume they are present.

Monday, June 6, 2011

EPA Webinar June 15 - Guidance Development on Permitting the Use of Diesel Fuels in Hydraulic Fracturing

EPA is hosting a public informational webinar on June 15, 2011, from 2:00 - 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, to discuss and to solicit input on a guidance the Agency is developing to assist the Underground Injection Control Program in issuing permits for the use of diesel fuels in oil and gas hydraulic fracturing. The webinar is open to the public, and all interested stakeholders are invited to attend. Stakeholders interested in attending the webinar are invited to pre-register at this website,  at least three (3) days in advance. Pre-registering for the meeting will allow EPA to improve meeting planning.

The webinar will begin with a presentation by the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water on the Underground Injection Control program and possible approaches the Agency may recommend in a guidance for permitting the use of diesel fuels in hydraulic fracturing activities related to oil and natural gas extraction. EPA will answer questions and take comments submitted by webinar attendees for the remainder of the webinar.

Persons who are successfully registered for the webinar via the website,, may (1) submit questions and comments to EPA during the online registration process and during the webinar, or (2) submit written comments to by June 29, 2011. Due to time limits, EPA may not be able to answer every question submitted during the registration process and during the webinar. Persons wishing to contribute written comments to EPA regarding the development of permitting guidance for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuels may also send written comments with the words "Diesel Fuels Guidance Comments" in the subject line by June 29, 2011. EPA will not provide individual responses to written comments received by email.

For more information and registration link, please see

Gas well blow out injures one in Wise County

At 9:00 am this morning, a gas well blew out in Decatur. One worker was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital via helicopter with a broken leg and possible head injuries. Customers in the Lowe's nearby said they felt shaking and heard a loud noise.

Click here for story in the Wise County Messenger.

This is the second incident in Wise County in a few days. This past weekend several thousand barrels of crude oil spilled at an Enterprise Products gathering site.

Two very good examples why gas and oil production should not be anywhere near where people live, work, go to school, and farm. This industry needs to be better regulated to insure the health and safety of all citizens of the shale.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kids Speak: National Ad Campaign to Expose Impacts of Natural Gas Drilling

Kids Speak: The National Ad Campaign to Expose Impacts of Natural Gas Drilling will allow many children living on gas patches across America to share their stories on living near gas production. ]


For more on the video submission guidelines, go to the link on  TXSharon's site.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Texas Railroad Commission Gets One Right

Texas Railroad Commission Examiner rules against Chesapeake Operating. Here is a PFD (Proposal for Decision) against Chesapeake Operating which denies a Rule 37 request for two cases. The denial is due to a lack of legal notice as determined by a RRC Legal Examiner. In this particular case, there were several possible protestants who could not be reached via snail mail. Procedure in this case is to notify the parties involved via a “newspaper of general circulation.” Chesapeake chose the “Forth Worth Commercial Recorder”. After all, who DOESN’T get the Ft. Worth Commercial Recorder? In short, the legal examiner determined that this publication was not legally sufficient as notice. The examiner goes on to cite case law in Texas to justify his opinion and even mentions the 14th Amendment (due process). We would also suggest consulting the 5th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, specifically the taking of private property without just compensation, something routinely done during Rule 37 rulings.

While the Commissioners themselves may well reverse this examiners opinion, or Chesapeake may simply be allowed to post notification in an appropriate newspaper, we applaud the Commission examiner for his well researched opinion. It has never been the intent of FMCAUD to “stick it to anyone”, but we do expect fair (that means industry has to lose a few now and then) and honest hearings in Austin when private property is at stake. Just maybe, this is a start.