It’s been back-to-back party-time for me. Monday night I was in Grand Prairie and didn’t get home until midnight and tonight the Denton City Council lasted until 1:00 AM (which makes it this morning and not tonight).
Last week at the P&Z meeting and again tonight, industry bullies issued threats of legal action. The new ordinances are much stronger than the old ones but not nearly as strong as other cities. DISH has one of the strongest drilling ordinances in the Barnett Shale and Devon Energy, one of the loudest (in every sense of the word) complainers, managed to drill in DISH while following the ordinances 100%.
Gilbert Horton, Devon Energy, said they don’t mind reasonable regulation. Oh really? A $300 valve that would cut methane emissions by 90% seems like an affordable, reasonable regulation. But it doesn’t cut the muster in Devon World. From the Star-Telegram:
On older wells, Devon is replacing one part — a valve about the size of a pinkie finger — that costs $300 and lets the company capture more gas and rack up carbon credits. One valve cuts methane emissions by 90 percent, which is the equivalent of taking 16 cars off the road.
No one doubts that Devon is a big believer in such initiatives. But last month, Devon wrote the state comptroller to oppose a bill that would require the valve replacements.
Other regulation that Devon considers unreasonable were listed in the same article:
- “green” well completions, even though it uses the technique on the vast majority of its Barnett Shale wells — and the process generated $38 million in extra revenue in 2007.
- vapor recovery units
- electric motors
Horton also complained about the new fees saying they were unfair. I’ll tell you what’s unfair: Last year Devon spent $2.4 million lobbying our elected officials!
What the drillers really hate is the 1000′ setback. I can bare witness that a 1,000 foot setback is not nearly enough.
I was told that lightning strikes gas wells and causes explosions “all the time”.
Industry is insisting that they should “consult” in the creation of the ordinance. Leaders should hang tough and keep industry out of the decision making. Petroleum engineers without a direct financial interest are available for consultation.