Feb 25 2015 update here is the video. The expansion of the Rolling Hills drill site near many AISD schools, a golf course/country club where children swim and near the upcoming high density, upscale Arlington Commons apartments (storage tanks to be as close as 130 feet to apartment residents) was approved without any opposition. There was one non-speaker who spoke previously on the earthquake risk. Letters of opposition by Arlington residents concerned about its livability were sent.
Rolling Hills drill site expansion P&Z vote was continued…again.
Some P&Z members were asking questions about why they were going closer than 600 feet and if the tanks 124 feet away from the closest structure could be moved. EnerVest first said no to that, but later during rebuttal, they said they would continue to work with the Viridian/Huffines folks, but that its a tight area they are working with.
Enervest says they can commit to drilling the nine wells – all in 2015. They were not sure though on when the fracking would occur. They were also not sure how many storage tanks would be added since they were not sure when and how many wells they would complete.
There was one speaker in favor, Shea Kirkman – who leads the EnerVest community meetings, and there were three speakers in opposition….
1) Richard Weber spoke about caution in the face of Irving quakes.
2) I (Kim Feil) showed the Lake Arlington TCEQ video from the storage tanks venting off the Lake Arlington site on my camera……
The P&Z members looked at the video and passed the camera down.
I asked for vapor recovery units (Enervest said they’d look into it) and I reminded folks that with each new well is probably going to add more storage tanks invisibly emitting. I told them that its only a matter of time before WFAA and other media starts showing the infrared imagery and folks will soon associate those tanks as something no one wants to live by. I quoted some things* that were said from a fence line stakeholder at an earlier community meeting and concluded with telling P&Z that developers understand that people do not want to live by drill sites. It felt good to be so confident in having made that statement.
3) Bob Kembel was the last speaker in opposition. He is the president of Huffines Communities. He is the face representing the Viridian project where Arlington’s first Urban Gas Wells were plugged. Huffines is the biggest stakeholder in the proposed high end apartments about to break ground at the fence line to the Rolling Hills drill site.
When Kembel spoke, he said that he didn’t know that the city could allow drilling closer than the 600 feet setback allowed in our ordinance.
I was thinking to myself in the audience then that “he certainly doesn’t understand about a reverse setback where if an existing drill site is there, that gas well development can get really, really closer than even the 300 ft setback – like what happened in Denton”.
Kembel added that he has been focusing on drilling and not the timing of the other completion phases. He said he also needs to consider those storage tanks being so close too.
And so the hearing is continued and once this is (rejected I predict), then its grab the popcorn and see how our City Council will vote on this.
It is worth mentioning that more than once P&Z members acknowledged BOTH developers (EnerVest & Huffines) to be important Arlington stakeholders.
* Here are some comments Robert Kembel made at the first week in January 2015 community meeting with Enervest and the neighbors….
Here are the choice parts to the above video in transcript form in reply to my starting off the community meeting by asking how the Huffines folks propose to attract well educated, affluent people to pay high rent on apartments near a dreaded drill site. In agreeing with me on that conundrum question, this was Kimbel’s comments…
“We’re building a first class A multi-family ever built in Arlington and we want a good opportunity for that to be successful. The city is counting on it, the neighborhood behind us is counting on it. We need to be successful for a lot of reasons. Its a huge bet for a lot of people. A lot of stakeholders real interested in the values improve in north Arlington and this is kind of one of many initiatives. So it is one that we care a lot about along with the Viridian. Two billon dollars worth of A/B (?) growth is a big deal to the city. And so right out of the shoot we don’t want any additional challenges to what we are doing. We certainly don’t want any surprises. So we’re trying to balance being a good stakeholder-the timing is important (drilling) later is not good “
Earlier in that community meeting (when I was chastised for not announcing that I was recording parts of the meeting), I noted one of the Huffine reps saying of the Viridian development …..“We went out of our way to buy all the minerals so we wouldn’t have any drilling as opposed to ‘opposing it’, we just bought it. That way we put our money where our mouth is and said we’re going to buy all the interest and not worry about it, but not everybody can do that”. When I mentioned that (David Poole of) Range Resources responded to my email** via a phone conversation that those were bunk wells, that the gas had escaped into higher shales….
Mr Kembel’s partner corrected me saying that there indeed WAS gas there. I am aware of the existing XTO Howling Hound drill site nearby on the west side of Collins (hidden by the grading). But the above video has a Range Resources rep saying that the LOBF site was a dud. So did Huffines get ripped off in buying up those Viridian minerals where the LOBF drill site was plugged and abandoned?
If there is indeed gas just waiting to be produced then why would Range Resources tell me that the reason Range sold to Legend who turned around and plugged the wells is because THEY WERE NOT ECONOMICAL WELLS?
What started out as me predicting that high end homes in Arlington get special treatment (the wells go away) ends up being validated by Huffines three years later admitting to buying up those Viridian minerals in lieu of opposing (future) drilling.
DEVELOPERS DON’T WANT GASWELLS NEAR THEIR STUFF (at least while they still own those surface properties?…oooh I’ll burn in hell for just thinking that?)
The reality is that, Huffines (the current mineral owners), may allow drillers to come back one day in the future to develop their minerals……If I was buying any property from the Huffines group, I’d get a clause in writing on the contract stipulating NO FUTURE DRILLING WILL EVER OCCUR…I’m not trusting of human beings much these fracked up days.
**Here is the letter I sent David Poole of Range Resources back in 2012..
From: Kim Feil [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2012 12:17 PM
To: David P. Poole
Subject: Veridian related Q on why Legend bought the Arlington Range LOBF “liabilities” …
Mr. Poole, I read the latest letters on XXX and XXX exchanges (which as a mother I abhor anybody suggesting your children drink frack fluid – I followed the Caddo Parish cattle death stories).
Yesterday I had an exchange with an Arlington gas drilling representative and some things didn’t quite fit right.
1) Is it true that Range drilled in Arlington and hit a formation in the shale that was producing more water and would be better off cemented? Would that be the case for both LOBF pad sites?
I noticed the XTO Howling Hound drill site just above the LOBF on the west side of Collins St is not going away…I have yet to pull the production records.
(FYI the planned, upscale Veridian development is on the east side of Collins St)
2) Why did Legend buy into such unprofitable and “noncompliant to city regs” padsites? I read on an unverified blog that Mr Sam Ware of Lazarus Property Corp from Dallas originally owen the land and kept the minerals
when he sold to the Huffines so my next question is…..
3) What did Legend own…the land?….the lease to extract the minerals? ….both?
I was told that it was an economic decision to (plug and abandon) P&A these wells, not for aesthetics.
I wanted to share with you that I now find it extremely suspicious that the city found so many violations at BOTH of the (then owned Range) padsites.
Perhaps it was their intention to put pressure on Range to have them gone? I have seen our City Council deny higher income area pad sites; tonight another such case will be decided near the Tierra Verde overlay.
While many of the first round inspections found “signage issues” at many sites, none of the other drillers had the types of violations that the city found Range guilty of, which leads me to question
if the city was more stringent in the Viridian related property slotted for upscale development, and that Range may have been a victim of discriminatory inspections.
Here was the breakdown of the first round of inspections posted on the city web site last year (aside from many sites not having fire extinguishers) ……
Chesapeake 33 pad sites… no violations noted
Carrizo 7 pad sites… 1 padsite failed NFPA Diamond signage
Quick Silver 2 padsites… 1 padsite failed Bradenhead Guage (not installed on 9H) and a cracked one on 12H
Titan 1 padsite failed smoking signage, grass weeds & trash and equipment storage onsite
Vantage 4 padsites of which one failed the lightening arrestor system and tier 2 landscape
XTO 5 padsites 3 padsites needed painting
2 padsites failed equipment onsite storage
2 padsites failed grass weeds & trash
2 padsites failed knox lock
1 padsite failed landscape
1 padsite failed signage
Range 2 padsites Pad 8 need painting
Section a) Regarding Containment Unit –
failed liner on secondary containment
failed 3 ft min height
failed in not being buried at least 1 ft below the surface
failed in not providing drip pots at the pump out connection to contain liquids form the storage tank
Section c) failed in being in excess of 8′
Section e) failed NFPA Diamond signage
Section c) Well head failed cellar filled or closed
Section d) failed two Bradenhead Guage (not installed on 1H & 8H)
For padsite 11 need painting
There were road issues on not following dust containment
I have notes of “no signage”
Section a) failed primary containment unit
b) failed secondary containment unit
Section c) failed cellar filled or closed
Section d) failed two Bradenhead Guage (not installed on 1H & 2H)
Section e) failed NFPA Diamond signage
Section f) failed lightening arrestor system
If any of the other drillers currently violate the height requirements that they found Range guilty of, then would be good evidence of the city being lenient to non-Veridian placed pad sites and I encourage you to help me get the answers to my question as to if our city is being biased in their inspection program. However based on the most recent compliance reports, there were absolutely NO COMPLIANCE ISSUES WITH ANY OF THE 55 PADSITES.
That is too perfect if you ask me.
Thanks for your feedback on why Legend would purchase the two LOBF padsites and if you agreed with the violations found.