THE DRILLERS ARE HERE!

On February 18, 2008, the Fort Worth City Council voted unanimously to begin accepting bids for drilling rights to the western and southern parts of Lake Worth. Undoubtedly, this means that lease offers will soon begin pouring in to lake residents. PLEASE, for your own sake, begin participating with the neighborhood association in the drilling discussion.

The Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association will provide the support and structure for members (and non-members) who own mineral rights to use in the negotiation of mineral leases. We are fortunate that other neighborhood associations around Lake Worth have already had the experience of negotiating agreements. The Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association intends on drawing from the experience of the other associations as well as seeking the help of the Lake Worth Alliance.

Even if you don't have mineral rights, the location and quality of drill sites will affect YOU. We are all in this together. Together, we can make sure that the drilling remains a benefit to Fort Worth.


Michael Dallas
SSNA President

Please post your comments and conerns below.

4 comments:

Michael Dallas said...

Here is the letter I received from the city. It states that the city is beginning the legal process for selling the gas from under the parks in our neighborhood.

Michael Dallas

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February 25, 2008

Michael Dallas, President
Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association
6138 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth TX 76116

Dear Mr. Dallas:

The City of Fort Worth has been approached by a number of interested parties for the purpose of extracting natural gas from the Barnett Shale Formation. The Parks and Community Services Department has been asked to convert the subsurface of the following parks for the purpose of natural gas drilling and extraction from off site locations:

* Casino Beach Park - 7451 Watercress Drive
* Love Circle Park - 7400 Jacksboro Highway
* Island View Park - 8401 Watercress Drive
* Sunset Park - 8855 Watercress Drive

The City Council will conduct a public hearing, as required by state law (Chapter 26 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code), on March 25, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in the City Council Chamber, second floor, City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton Street, 76102. Within thirty days of this letter, public notice of the hearing will be advertised three consecutive times in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and for thirty days at City Hall.

This letter serves to inform your neighborhood of the requested conversions. These conversions would not have an impact on usable park area because there will be no drilling on park property. Attached for your reference is a map of the above mentioned parks.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact me at (817) 871-5744.

Sincerely,

David Creek, Park Planning Superintendent
Parks and Community Services Department

cc: The Honorable Carter Burdette, Council District 7
Parks and Community Services Advisory Board
Harold Pitchford, Assistant Director, Parks and Community Service

Michael Dallas said...

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Question:
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Michael,

Does this mean its time to start negotiating with the same folks for a settlement on our individual land royalty payments? Or have you already done that for yourself? I'm agreeable to begin speaking with the NG companies so that they don't remove the gas without my knowledge, my permission, or me getting paid for whats under my property. If you have already negotiated an individual settlement, do you have a contact within an equitable NG company that you might reccomend?

I certainly would like to start receiving royalty payments sooner rather than later.

Your thoughts?

Chris Rainone,
8912 Peninsula Club Circle.

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Answer:
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Chris:

First, I don't own mineral rights so even when this is done, I will not be signing any contracts. I am here just to help you help yourself.

Second, as far as I know, no neighbors have been offered any contracts yet. However, since the city owns most of the property (and gas), and the city is opening up for bids, the drillers will be quick to start working our neighborhood.

From what I've seen in other areas, a bunch of "flim-flam men" (there is probably a more accurate and less nasty term) will descend on the neighborhood. They will begin making offers hoping to catch unfortunate souls who are too anxious to wait for negotiations. These guys then "flip" the contracts at a profit to the bigger players. The rest of the neighborhood will probably be patient, stick together, and negotiate with a real player to get more money. I HIGHLY recommended that you participate in all of the neighborhood meetings from now on. I will share any information that I have and listen to your concerns.

As far as timing, the "gas train" is moving very quickly. Since the city owns most of the minerals out here, it is in the driver's seat as far as timing.

A concern I hear from the neighorhood is, of course, where to put the wells. The neighbors need to get together NOW to decide how to make decisions going forward. I will not be taking on the role of "judge and jury" on what happens out here. YOU (the neighbors) will be working together to make decisions. I will only pass information back and forth and oversee the process when necessary.

Sincerely,

Michael Dallas
President
Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association

Anonymous said...

Hi circle,

Some of you may or may not have received the email below and the emails yesterday about setting up a meeting to discuss drilling. I thought of some important questions we need answered before meeting. Most important question of all is WHERE ARE THE PROPOSED DRILL SITES? If we don’t know this answer we will all just sit around speculating about where they will drill and whether or not they can drill in our circle which I think all of us would be against. And to be clear, I am against drilling in the circle!

I called David at the Parks Dept and he clarified for me that as of right now drilling on parks is not allowed in Fort Worth and that this conversion is only to allow them to lease out the mineral rights owned by the city of FTW under the parks. He did not know where the possible drill sites might be, but gave me Jean Peter’s number who is in charge of gas leasing for the city. I left her a message.

The next important question is CAN THEY DRILL IN THE CIRCLE? and HAS ANYONE FILED FOR A HIGH IMPACT PERMIT FOR THE CIRCLE? Here’s some information about the permits:

Types of Wells:

High Impact Gas Well Permit is required if the proposed well is to be located within six hundred (600) feet of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital building, school or public park.

Urban Gas Well Permit is required if the proposed well is to be located between six hundred (600) feet and one thousand feet (1000) of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital building, school or public park.

Rural Gas Well Permit is required if the proposed well is to be located one thousand feet (1000) or more of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital building, school or public park.

And from the FAQ page:

How far must a well be from my property or public structures/areas?
The distance requirement is regulated by the city’s gas ordinance. No well may be drilled closer than 600 feet from any protected use such as a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital, school or public park without a waiver from the protected use owners or City Council approval.

What can I expect when a company is going to drill in my area?
A sign will be placed near the proposed well site advising that a permit application has been submitted. Notices will be sent to residents/property owners within 1000 feet of the well site. Additionally, staff sends a separate notice to residents/property owners if a proposed well is to be located within 1000 feet of any protected use. 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 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.

Several other questions come to mind: How do we find out if we definitely own our mineral rights? Does the site size of 300x300 feet include the mobilization? If not, what is the total space needed to for the drill site? What kind of protection do we have from the workers roaming around the neighborhood- I live alone and don’t want to be harassed by them. Where will the water reservoir be located? Where will they get the water from? Where will they dispose of the water? How do they ensure the water and mud doesn’t runoff into our yards and pollute the lake? How many trucks will be driving in and out daily? Isn’t Watercress protected from truck traffic? How will truck traffic impact our roads? Can we have protected from foundation problems for 5+ years at least since urban drilling is still so new that they have no idea how it will impact our foundations? Was that staking on the circle related to a prospective drill site?

I am sure I will think of many more questions, but I think the most important question is Where are they thinking about drilling?

Michael Dallas said...

FACT: There is no "WHERE" on well locations right now. That is THE big concern. The city council has put this in the hands of the engineering department.

My limited understanding (paraphrased) is that bids come back from gas companies with maps marked with "X"'s (drill sites, etc.) Engineering then "works on it," (whatever that means) proposes a plan, and chooses the bids. My best wild guess is that once engineering proposes the plans (and the drill sites), it will be much more difficult to change.

FACT: Everyone wants the money. No one wants a well in their yard.

In the end, the neighbors may have to come up with a proposal of where to put these monsters. Potentially, we could have a situation where everyone can't be happy. We need to start working on the "how we decide" problem. Right now we have no maps with x's. We do have the start of a conversation of questions that need to be answered.

Keep asking. Keep talking.

Michael Dallas
President
Scenic Shores Neighborhood Association