Tuesday, September 16, 2014

City of Grand Prairie, TX Should HALT Extraction at the Lynn Unit *UPDATE*

 The Zone of Exclusion for the Joe Pool Lake Dam
Click on the Map to View the Details.
Map from the City of Grand Prairie, Texas 9.16.14 Agenda Packet
(Note: There are 3 Producing Shale Gas Wells on XTO's Lynn Unit.)

So, here's the latest.  During tonight's Grand Prairie, TX City Council Meeting (Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM)  (Click on that link ~ go to the Consent Agenda, Item 29 on the Full Agenda Tab) the Council will extend the Moratorium on all Gas Drilling activities within 3,000 ft. of all water retention structures in the city limits through October 1, 2015. This Moratorium was first put in place on September 6, 2011 and has been extended every 6 months to a year since that time.

Apparently, USACE (United States Army Corps of Engineers) is not ready to release their National Study just yet.  These things take time and lots of review before they become public.  We have been told by district personnel for USACE that Joe Pool Lake Dam is the centerpiece of this study.

So, now we must ask this question:  What about the Lynn Unit?  If there is a Moratorium on ALL gas drilling activities, then why isn't there the same Moratorium on "Extraction" aka "Production"?  

The Corps asked the City of Grand Prairie, TX to halt production (extraction) as part of the Moratorium at the Lynn Unit one year ago.  And to our knowledge, production for the 3 XTO wells in production at this site has continued.  The City told the Corps that it was their call, not the city's call.

So, whose call is it, anyway?

In light of the 3 Earthquakes in North Texas since last week (in adjacent cities to Grand Prairie), 2 in Arlington, TX and 1 in Irving, TX ~  
Earthquake #1 in Arlington, TX on Sunday, September 7, 2014:

Earthquake #2 in Irving, TX on Thursday, September 11, 2014:

Earthquake #3 in Arlington, TX on Friday, Sept 12, 2014:
Isn't it time to HALT all production within 3,000 ft. of the Joe Pool Lake Dam and within 3,000 Ft. of ALL Dams in North Texas with shale gas production in the zone?  

These EXCLUSION ZONES were established by the United States government via the Corps of Engineers' *New* Southwest District Policy released on March 17, 2011 and the much earlier 1996 Bureau of Land Management guidelines for oil and gas drilling activities near USACE-managed Dams. We have blogged about it extensively on the Westchester Gasette.

This is clearly one more Elephant in the Room.  But it's way past time to deal with this BIG one that can impact so many lives in one fell swoop. Extraction causes seismicity. Extraction causes earthquakes. Why risk this in such densely populated areas?

EARTH to City of Grand Prairie, TX:

Stop Production/Extraction on the 3 producing wells at the Lynn Unit. Thank You.

**UPDATE**: Read IMPORTANT Information regarding the Original Moratorium and the new Texas 
House Bill 40 Here:

Friday, July 25, 2014

210 West Camp Wisdom Road, Grand Prairie, TX (*Updated*)

It's been awhile since we blogged about this now "plugged Chesapeake well."  Over 3 Months later and there's still no housing construction activity on this now former drilling site that had been the source for so much controversy over the years.  

Well #1H API #42-113-30195
Corn Valley A Lease

As you may recall, this private land (about 19 17 acres) was suddenly being promoted by a "Housing Developer" who hadn't really completed any MAJOR housing developments anywhere.  He had a "Yahoo" account for his business e-mail address.  Yee Haw!!  He was asking for a "Zoning Change" from "Retail/Commercial Development" to "Residential Development." After some debate, this "Zoning Change" was eventually approved by Grand Prairie's City Council on May 20, 2014.

Yes.  It's true. A gas drilling site was "Zoned" Retail Commercial at some point in the past.  It was never zoned "Industrial." So much for "Zoning."

For the recent background for this story, click here, here, and here.

Strangely, we had never seen any photographic evidence of the FRAC Job for the Corn Valley A Lease Well #1H from back in early 2011.  (Neighbors didn't obtain photographic evidence at that time.) And we questioned all of that a few months ago.  (See the blog posts linked to above.)

In the meantime, we discovered that the Grand Prairie, TX Interactive Aerial Google Map for the drilling site's address (210 W. Camp Wisdom Road) does show the site and the FRAC tanks in place for a FRAC Job.  (Plug in the Address and Check "Gas Wells" under General Info at the link. Then at the top scroll over to "Aerial View.") Wow. For a 3-day operation, this FRAC Job seems to have become a permanent fixture for this land and its history.  Good

 Click on the map to see the bigger picture (with added text and labels).

BUT is it for real, or is it Photoshopped? We think it's odd that we are seeing this FRAC Job operation on a current map. Odd and weird.  The Railroad Commission couldn't be certain this well had ever been hydraulically fractured as we blogged about it on April 10th.  The well had been shut in for 3 years without a sales (gas gathering) pipeline primarily because of the efforts of the Westchester Grand Prairie Community Alliance. (*Update* June 14, 2015: The RRC had no records of Well 1H being fracked because there was no state law requiring "Fracking Dates" until February 1, 2012...but we now believe this well was completed (fracked) in the last week of January 2011 and the RRC just hadn't ever seen a well completed and then plugged without production. Funny that.)

The Alliance had pointed out (in late 2011 and early 2012) that there was a "Moratorium" on ALL gas drilling activities within 3,000 FT of ALL water retention structures inside City Limits. We ALSO pointed out (during City Council Hearings) that adding a pipeline would be in "violation" of the city's own "Moratorium."  We were surprised by the city's attempts to get this pipeline hooked up...very surprised. Shocked, really. Good Grief!

The city also told us that there was all sorts of oversight while this well was finally being plugged just this past April 4, 2014. 

Paperwork (the Form W-3) was said to be completed/signed by the Railroad Commission while their inspector(s) was/were present and even Grand Prairie's Gas Well Inspector was said to be present for the operation conducted by Chesapeake.  

Seriously? There were city and/or state "witnesses" to the plugging operation as it actually happened over a 5-day period??  As the saying kinda goes,

"Fool me once, shame on you ~ fool me twice, shame on me."

We think there's been more than enough foolin' and downright goofin' with all of this. Amen.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

VoilĂ !! Let's Just Cover it Up with NEW Homes!! *UPDATE*

Developing Story...(*Updated*)
Click on this Picture to see the BIG Picture. 

And, NOW Click on this PICTURE below to see the 
BIGGER Picture.

Just to follow-up on this story, the City Council Public Hearing on this "Zoning Change" from Retail (yes, a gas drilling site was zoned as "Retail" when any amount of common sense says it should have been "Zoned" as "Industrial") was conducted on April 15, 2014 and ended with a VOTE to Table. 

The SECOND Public Hearing on this Zoning Change will occur tonight, May 20th, 2014, 6:30 PM at Grand Prairie, TX City Hall.

Here's the Agenda for Tonight's Meeting (See Item 37 on Page 9 of the Agenda Below):

A Public Meeting was conducted on May 8th at the Betty Warmack Library on Bardin Road. 

We learned from that meeting:
  • NO Soil or Groundwater Testing will be conducted for this land that was used for shale gas mining operations beginning in 2010.  "City staff" told us that the city would have to pay $60,000 for that and, of course, that's too much!!  
  •  In addition, we were told at that meeting that Disclosure will NOT be required for any developer who builds new "Homes" or "Anything" on this damaged land.


It's not over, 'til it's over.  AND Just to make it perfectly clear, the Westchester Gasette is your source for reporting Barnett Shale bizarro, irresponsible and potentially deadly decision-making by North Texas city leaders and their city managers.


*UPDATE*:  We now believe Corn Valley Well 1H was perfed and fracked beginning somewhere around January 27, 2011.  (RRC records refer to it as an "unperfed" completion since not all leases were obtained.)  Due to a death in our Westchester family and extremely cold weather conditions, attention was elsewhere and so no pictures were obtained during the time frame for this FRAC job. But we are assured that this well was completed even though the Kilgore District Office of the Railroad Commission of Texas has no record of it due to no rules/requirements for Completion (Perfing/Fracking) paperwork in place at that time. (Westchester Neighbor. June 15, 2015)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Corn Valley Drilling Site ~ Drilled, Perforated, Hydraulically Fractured...*UPDATE: Question from P&Z Commissioner*

AND PLUGGED as of April 4, 2014  
(Confirmed by RRC, District 5 Office, Kilgore, TX)

Planning & Zoning Voted April 7, 2014 for a "Zoning Change" to Build NEW Homes on top of the same land that still holds the infamous FRAC Pond and is right next to the Corn Valley Drilling Site...

Do you think we can put this genie back in the bottle?

Take a look at the paper below...seems industry pros are not so sure about the plug:

Excerpt (Page 12): 
Horizontal wells
  • The horizontal orientations introduce different gravitational effects compared with vertical wells. In a typical vertical well, where there is a large column of cement, some migration of the solids downward or the water upward does not cause a significant change in the cement properties. In a horizontal well, the solids migrating to the bottom of the section and the water migrating to the top can provide areas of the well that do not have a complete seal. If the water in the cement separates from the mixture before the cement is set, it can migrate to the top of the wellbore and form a channel along the top of the wellbore which can allow migration of formation fluids. If the solids in the cement mixture settle to the bottom of the cement before the cement can harden,the solids can cause the cement to not set up correctly and the weakened area along the bottom of the wellbore can fail under pressure during stimulation activities. (Salehi and Paiaman, 2009).

Well Plugging and Abandonment Paper from a National Petroleum Council Study (9.15.11) by Westchester Gasette

The long history of the Corn Valley Drilling Site seemed to be coming to an end after last Monday's 8-0 Planning and Zoning Vote. However, we were baffled when watching the re-play of the meeting...baffled as to why there was no mention from anyone about the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Grand Prairie, TX MORATORIUM. And with some of the other statements during that meeting.

Here's a link below to the P & Z meeting.  Go to 39:51 to watch and see this discussion that never mentions the Moratorium. (We can't get the embedding code to work. It never has worked on the city's web site.)

Here's the link to the entire meeting ~ Scroll to 39:51: 

April 7, 2014 P&Z Meeting

As a reminder, this drilling site's well is 850 feet (literally across the street) from the Joe Pool Lake Dam and Spillway.  A 3,000 Ft. Exclusion Zone for drilling activities near USACE dams was in place since 1996, but it was ignored by Chesapeake. Or they didn't know about it. Or they didn't care about it. They told the city that USACE knew about their plans back in 2010.

That controversy has had many headlines over the years and yet this Planning and Zoning Commission made no mention of any of that.  Was the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) informed about the planned plugging of the horizontal gas well? Seems that is definitely a gas well drilling activity.  There was a workover rig on the site as you can see from our previous Westchester Gasette blog post, here.

So...this zoning change was approved so that a developer can build 55 homes right there in the shadow of the spillway and dam and atop the drilling site.  Interesting that this housing developer made a derogatory statement about our Westchester Association of Homeowners.  How very weird was that?  And more weirdness followed. Watch the meeting at the link above. Oh, what a tangled web. 

We'll have more about all of this and other developments, soon.  

It's always a doozy in gasland.