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Sunday, June 30, 2013

We Don't Need No Regulation

The Railroad Commission of Texas, our State's regulatory agency for Oil and Gas, recently added one inspector to our region.  We now have a total of two inspectors to oversee 3,825 producing gas wells in Tarrant County.  Our nearest field office is located in Kilgore, a two and a half hour trip each way.   When inquiring as to why we don't have a local office in the heart of the drilling region,  they tell us that  Kilgore is historically where they've always been.   Despite a recent push by citizens and legislators for reform, our State has failed to come through.    

This agency doesn't like change.  They seem quite content conducting business as usual.  Even their web site operates on COBOL, a 1970's era programming language.   If you don't believe it, link to their site and try to navigate around.  The web address is:

Operators are required to send in various reports and forms to the Commission.  One such form is the W-15 Cementing Report.  The one shown here is for the 1-H Sue Barnett well which is located within one mile of the Fish Creek Neighborhood.  Notice that this form was signed by Brenda Wise, Reg. Comp. Tech. of  XTO Energy, the Operator, and Jody Reeves, the cementer at Pumpco Energy Services, LP.  Scroll down to page 4 to see these signatures.)  Government Inspectors/Regulators neither witnessed or signed off on this crucial procedure.

This is a prime example of Self-Regulation!

Since we were not acquainted with Pumpco, we looked them up and discovered this disturbing review written by one of their employees:

Granted, this is just one review by one employee, but it begs the question:   Should the public place this much trust in an industry that is conducting business in our densely populated communities when it has the potential to cause serious and possibly irreversible environmental damage?

Anthony Ingraffea, PHD, P.E.Professor at Cornell University, published a paper in October 2012 entitled "Fluid Migration Mechanisms due to Faulty Well Design and/or Construction."  Although his research focuses on the Pennsylvania Marcellus Play,  this information is also relevant for other shale plays.

There is a 6-7% casing failure rate for newly drilled wells and this rate increases over the age of the well.  Therefore, would it be unreasonable to guess that hundreds of wells in the Barnett Shale might already have integrity issues?  Anyone in North Texas who has a cement driveway or a cracked foundation can attest to this!

Our State does not require visual inspection of the pouring of these casings.   [If they did they would have to hire many more inspectors.]  If the State doesn't mandate something, shouldn't local municipalities fill in that gap?  Failed casings can lead to fluid migration and groundwater contamination.  

God bless Texas, the industry-friendly State that prefers the honor system of self-regulation over protection of its citizens. 

Perhaps finances can be appropriated from the Arlington Tomorrow Fund to pay for City gas well inspectors.  More about that later...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Switcheroo

Signage on 12/19/2012 at Sue Barnett Drill Site Operated by XTO Energy

Signage on 6/29/2013 at Sue Barnett Drill Site operated by XTO Energy

The City of Arlington web site lists this drill site location as 1809 Southeast Parkway, Arlington, TX.  So, which one is it?  Can residents arbitrarily change their address whenever they want?

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's a Blast!

Signage posted at XTO's Sue Barnett Drill Site 
  1901 Southeast Parkway, Arlington, TX
This site is located in close proximity to several schools, homes, and businesses.

Look at the dangerously close proximity of this horse barn to the drill site.  Yes, there are farm animals living here!  It is wishful thinking to believe that our City ordinances are strong enough to protect people, animals, and vegetation from the harmful effects of gas drilling.  Even these trees appear stressed. 

We think the guard sits here during the 'perfing' process.  
Yes, explosives ARE detonated under homes.  
This is something the landman forgot to mention.

Perforating Gun Surface Detonation Video 

Workers load the perfing guns on the surface, but accidents can occur.
This is why cell phone use, including On-Star, is prohibited near this work area.  It can set off a charge with disastrous consequences.

For more on perfing, see TX Sharon's:
 "Hauling Fracking Explosives Through our Streets."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Go Frac Off! *UPDATE*

Earlier today while pulling out the parking lot of our local neighborhood Walgreens in southeast Arlington, a convoy of strange looking trucks saying "GoFrac" paraded past us.  One of the children captured this image from the back seat.

These big rigs should not be allowed on New York Avenue.  This is a residential area, and these trucks are tearing up our roads.  We would like to know where the frac they were headed.  Is this the gas industry's new mode of advertising? 


We contacted GoFrac to inquire about their current activity in Arlington.  Their receptionist stated they were working a frac job at the Sue Barnett Drill Site operated by XTO.   We also spoke with an employee from Barnett Gathering, a subsidiary of XTO, who confirmed that they were completing the well.   Seems their drivers violated the transportation route according to the drill site permit stipulations:

Where is the enforcement???

Oh, Bruder!

Oh, Bruder!  They're at it again!  And there's nothing brotherly about it.  Here is what local residents have to say about the production process spewing dust and fumes from this Chesapeake operated gas drill site located at I-20 at Park Springs Boulevard in Arlington, Texas: 
They have been going at it hot and heavy like this for at least 3 weeks. Constantly draining and refilling the frac pond with our water. How long does it take!? We've been breathing this air, dust and voc's for so long that the leaves on my plants are coated! I didn't bother with a veggie garden this year. I wouldn't let my kids eat what we grew last year!
Just awful. I live on the other side of the highway from this monstrosity. Arlington city council is so greedy that they allow this. They even gave a permit for drilling 359 feet from a day care center. Wtf? Who has a conscience anymore?
We've had a history of problems at this drill site with all that silica dust.  No telling what's it's doing to our lungs.