With natural gas prices back on the rise and the nationwide drilling rig count headed back up, it looks like we're getting closer to neighborhood gas drilling in Lewisville. The current spot price for natural gas is around $3.86, and the nationwide rig count was 1,041 as of October 9th.
On September 30th, driller Titan applied for and received a permit to drill one well in the Prologis tract in Northern Lewisville. Operator Cherokee Horn says they will apply for a city permit for this site, which is located East of McGee Ln., just North of the railroad tracks. Cherokee Horn land manager Field Claytor says the intent is to get both of their Lewisville tracts, Prologis and Ingram permitted with the state and city, then begin drilling when prices get back to the $6 - $7 / MCF range.
The permit for the Prologis site currently only includes a 118 acre non-residential tract, but the site is planned to eventually reach under residential neighborhoods in the area.
In Southern Lewisville, in the neighborhoods where CPANA organized for a better deal for residents, plans are still somewhat up in the air. Originally, it was planned to drill in a 27 acre wooded tract owned by the Ingram family just North of Timber Creek between Valley Parkway and Edmonds Ln. There are some technical problems with the Ingram site, which would require building a road to access, so an alternate site is the property on the Southeast corner of Corporate Dr. and Valley Pkwy., currently owned by the Cotter and the Tomkovich families.
Claytor says that the decision as to which site will be drilled has been given to the City of Lewisville, which will eventually be asked to permit one of them. The Cotter/Tomkovich properties are problematic because even if the drill pad site could be oriented to get the required 500 ft setback from Memorial Park.
Property owner Carol Tomkovich has been trying to sell her property for months, and currently has it under contract with a developer who she believes is planning to redevelop the tract with 15 lots of R-12 houses. Tomkovich had not spoken directly to the developer, having dealt with them through a Realtor, but had been shown a sketch of the proposed development. The Cotters would presumably still live in their house, but would sign a waiver of the required setback.
Although the site on Valley Pkwy. would have the advantage of easier access and less chance of contaminating Trinity River tributary, Timber Creek, many residents signed their gas leases believing the Ingram tract to be the drill site, so the Cotter/Tomkovich property could be closer to their residences.
Claytor says Cherokee Horn continues to lease mineral rights from households throughout the pool area. Some residents continue to hold out, hoping they can stop or delay the drilling.
The Town of Flower Mound is considering amending its drilling ordinance to allow seismic testing on public streets, and the installation of pipelines to carry produced water from well sites to a central tank battery which will store the waste until it can be hauled off and disposed of. Some residents worry that seismic testing could damage streets and foundations of their houses, and that these pipelines might develop leaks that would contaminate the soil.