Originally I sought to learn if the city inspectors wrote up violations to put pressure on getting rid of the gas well padsites at the new Huffines Community development called the Viridian in northeast Arlington. Turns out they really did need to be cleaned up.
I also sought to learn if the clean up was done properly, but there are no records that exist per an open records request with the city. The Army Corps of Engineers surprisingly makes no mention of gas wells good, bad, or ugly in responding to my open records report. They also made no mention of any alleged buried jet fuel tanks*
In 2006 the Dallas Business Journal (DBJ) reported that Sam Ware paid thirteen million for 1,950 acres. He retained his mineral rights and sold the surface land to Huffines promising them 25% of the royalties. Drilling for natural gas started on November 10, 2006 but by 2010, the bank foreclosed on the mineral rights and Huffines was suing for their 25% royalty money as promised.
Fast-forward to 2015 when the president of Huffines, Mr Kembel, and his partner made two claims at a community meeting I attended: that there IS gas there, and that they bought back the rights to the minerals so as to not have to oppose drilling occurring in their development. ‘How thoughtful of them’ I recall thinking. At that time I did not know that the Huffines group sued Mr Ware for the royalties that never materialized …because- the-first-two-wells-did-NOT-produce-much.
SO WHY WOULD HUFFINES GROUP SAY THERE IS GAS THERE when the drillers say otherwise?…
- hopeful wishing?
- greenwashing goodwill attempt to not drill when gas probably isn’t there anyway?
The value of the Viridian minerals…….that is still a mystery.
The DBJ reported that Ray Ledesma, president of Star of Texas and a former engineer for Amoco, said “We know there’s a lot of gas there, the key will be how we frack the wells,” he said. Senior investment officer, David Belzer, said “There’s a high level of confidence that gas exists; it’s purely a function of mechanical execution,”
The DBJ reported that the seismic surveys revealed that the area sits on the largest fault in the Barnett Shale and that “the 1,800-foot drop off is now formally called Bird’s Fort Fault.”
If drilling near an 1,800ft fault line complicates things…does building homes in that area make it safe with all our frackquakes happening?…as I type this Oklahoma just had a 4.2 quake.
But after the first well was drilled ‘in a shallow part’ with Star of Texas Energy Services, and the second well was drilled ‘at depth’ with Range Resources…you almost can’t blame both drillers-you need to blame the formation. Thats what Range did when they would not complete the third well citing a ‘complex geology’.
In speaking with the VP of Range Resources, (who sold to Legend-who capped those wells), he told me a few years ago that the reason those wells weren’t productive is… “we drilled into an area-that very faulted area at depth-in the Barnett, and what I understand from our geophysicist is that in those very faulted areas of the Barnett, over the hundreds of millions of years that the Barnett has been there, the gas has essentially leaked off through those faults and gone into upper formations in the Ft Worth Basin”.
In a 2012 video I made, albeit one of my poorest clarity videos, you can see the changes over the last few years ….
On the west side of Collins, where our expanded dump is ever encroaching, in my 2012 video I show the XTO Howling Hound Drill Site that is still in existence in 2015. I was told that this site is still producing our beloved antiquated fossil fuels.
2015 XTO Howling Hound Drill Site west of Collins St in Arlington TX at the Viridian Community.
That XTO site is in the 2012 picture below. Look for the long, bright white, triangular shape next to the words ‘N.Collins St.'; just below that is the gathering pipelines or valve yard.
In the 2015 picture below south of the triangle shape is an L shape, now there are some buildings there. The natural gas gathering lines are still there…..
If you are having trouble seeing the gathering lines in the northwest quadrant of the above pic, go to the 2012 picture below. The piping is level with the two troughs that the truck is heading towards in the picture, The gathering lines are just to the right of those troughs…
Here is a closer 2012 look, the gathering lines are just north of that round looking structure…
Today you can see the white piping, gathering lines in the 2015 pic below…
Gathering stations have been going dreadfully close to people here in Arlington. Here is a link to another Arlington blogger of her valve yard pics next to people’s homes.
The second possible drill site location in the below 2012 pic is the scorched earth, white square just northeast of the black, teardrop shaped spot just. The black spot is southeast of what I call the “fingerlakes”. In my video, I questioned if that blackened spot was a grass fire stain or if it could be toxic mud farming from the drilling mud cuttings….good news…I was told that a tractor caused a grass fire there.
Here is a closer look at the second suspect scorched earth spot that could have been a drill site…smack dab in the middle of the Viridian project..ooops
The third site closest to Birds Fort (above the fingerlakes) is either LOBF pad 8 or pad 11, both padsites had violations. I contacted the VP of Range Resources and asked him if he felt the city picked on them with those violations to close that site, or if they really were offensive to the environment. Here was his response (or read below)…
“When I looked at the pictures of our location that were taken by the inspector, I gotta tell ya’ I was embarrassed and from my perspective, I don’t think they were picking on us. I actually think that they realized that we were about to sell it, and they knew I think that logically you know that they buyer was probably in a position to force us to do some clean up and they probably been having some trouble getting my guys to do it because these wells were I mean ‘terrible’-they just weren’t economic and so obviously those guys just didn’t want to spend money they didn’t have to. Now I will tell you that I didn’t think very highly of just our maintenance and upkeep of those locations. I thought that they-you know, we should have done some basic stuff uh before the city cited us…..”
“B A S IC S T U F F?”
Since someone else had already called this drill site a toxic dump…..
http://durangotexas.blogspot.com/2009/02/huffines-veridian-at-river-legacy-park.html The one anonymous comment is…. “So anyway I did some research last night and found out that Sam Ware of Lazarus Property Corp., a real estate developer from Dallas is the one that owned the property before Huffines. He found out about the natual gas there and sold the land-minus the mineral rights to Huffines. He is the one that has the 2 toxic dump gas wells there close to the Birds Fort marker. That would be the top part of the “boot” on the map that I told you about. Anyway, I guess it’s better that Huffines has the project than Mr Ware. After goggling his name it comes to light that he has been sued quite a few times in different states for unscrupulous land development matters.”
Since that commenter above called this drill site a toxic dump…..I pulled my hand written notes from the 6/29/2011 City of Arlington Gas Well inspection reports, and here are my notes….
LOBF Pad 8 notes
a) Containment Unit Failed:
- secondary containment is…not lined
- not a 3 ft min height and is not buried at least 1 ft below the surface. Drip pots are not provided at the pump out connection to contain liquids from the storage tank.
- c) 8′ height requirement=fail, this site is in excess of 8 ft
e) NFPA Diamond (signage)=fail
c) cellar filled or closed=fail
d) Bradenhead (psi) guage installed=fail on the 1H & 8H wells
LOBF Pad 11 notes
Road issues on containing dust not followed
b. secondary containment unit=fail
a primary containment unit=fail
f. lightening arrestor system=fail
c. cellar filled or closed=fail
d. bradenhead psi guage=fail on 1H and 2H wells
Here are the pics of the padsite in the northeast quadrant of the area…
2012 by Euless Main Rd
2012 road nearby is the Euless Main
2015 you can still see the old padsite and where the well head could be, I saw a pile of wood I think to camouflage the plugged well head.
*On a different, but kinda related note…I also sought to learn if the alleged jet fuel tanks buried in the area existed, but the young man with the dinosaur excavation group that told me about the possibility of them being there-buried…well he died a strange strangulation death. His affiliate with the dig says he doesn’t know of any buried jet fuel tanks….but that is for a different blog.