Q: What is the Barnett Shale?
A: The Barnett Shale is a large natural gas reserve that stretches underground across a 15 county area. It contains an estimated 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is located approximately 1.5 miles below the surface. In recent years, advances in drilling technology have made it possible for energy companies to extract large amounts of natural gas from the Barnett Shale.
Q: How can I find out if a natural gas well permit has been obtained near my property or additional information about gas well drilling within our city limits?
A: If a gas drilling operator has requested a drilling permit within 1000 feet from your residence, you will receive a notification concerning the request.
Q: Can someone else own the minerals underneath my property? How can I tell if I own my minerals?
A: Yes – It is possible that the mineral ownership may be different than surface ownership. A deed/title search may be necessary for one to determine who actually owns the minerals under a piece of property.
Q: Will drilling affect the foundation of my house?
A: There is no documented evidence of drilling affecting foundations. Most foundation problems occurring in the North Texas area are a result of groundswell and contraction during alternating periods of wet and dry weather.
Q: What emergency plans are in place in case of an accident?
A: In the case of gas wells, it has been determined that one plan is not a viable alternative and that if a situation should arise, it should be handled based on the type of incident and the information available. An Emergency Response Plan is required as part of the gas well permit application.
Q: Can a gas well be placed on my property without my permission?
A: As a general rule, an operator would rather have the surface owner’s permission before placing a well site on a particular property and will pay appropriate damage fees to the surface owners. Any other actions would be preceded by legal action involving the operator and the property owner.
Q: What can I expect when a company is going to drill in my area?
A: A sign will be placed near the proposed well site advising that a permit application has been approved. Additional notification may be required depending on setback distances to residential and/or public buildings. A pad generally 300′ X 300′ will be prepared and a drilling rig will move onto the location. The drilling rig will be on site for approximately 20 to 30 days actually “drilling” the well and running pipe into the open hole. After the well is drilled, the drilling rig will move off the site. The rig move and drilling is a 24-hour operation and is probably the noisiest part of the operation. Shortly thereafter, well “completion” will begin and a smaller portable rig will move onto the location. After completion operations, surface equipment will be installed along with appropriate fencing and gates. From this point, there will be minimal activity on the location. Occasionally a small rig will be brought to the location for remedial work.
Q: Will someone be on the drilling site at all times?
A: During drilling operations, there are personnel on-site 24 hours. Completion operations are usually conducted during the day, but personnel may be on-site 24 hours during a short flow-back period. If there are not personnel on-site (Operations or Private Security), then the site/equipment must be secured.