Posted: 2011/7/17 8:43 Updated: 2011/7/19 0:00
My Thoughts on Ingram
I've had several folks ask me what I think, and what I'm going to do about the Ingram gas well site. I've kind of held back on talking about Titan's two sites in Southern Lewisville because I don't want anyone to mistake my personal views with those of Central Park Area Neighbors Association, of which I'm a board member. CPANA has taken no official position on whether or not the City of Lewisville should approve these wells. CPANA is non-partisan and non-political, organized for the purpose of ensuring that residents had a voice when dealing with the gas operator. As such, we fought for a good deal on signing bonuses and contractual terms, as well as some environmental and liability protections. CPANA will advocate that gas operators like Titan, if they do drill near our neighborhoods, do so in a safe and clean manner that brings as little disruption or loss of property value as possible.
As I've also mentioned here, I'm one citizen member of an ad-hoc gas committee convened by city staff to discuss and hash out changes to the city's gas ordinance. That committee has no official input into permit matters and only city staff review permit applications prior to them going to Council.
Now, here's where I am on this: B&H is a site that could work okay. I'm not thrilled about it being so close to homes, but at least the homes there are not in a down-wind location, based on prevailing winds. The area is already very commercialized. I don't want Titan to flare the well. I want them to do a green completion. I want to make sure the City requires the best available landscaping and site layout to minimize any eyesore aspects and provide as much distance as possible to the protected uses. I want to make sure that Titan's storm water pollution prevention plan minimizes the chances for any pollution in Timber Creek, which runs behind the site. Lastly, I want air quality monitoring to make sure that the air there doesn't get any worse. I can certainly understand the objections of the homeowners on Misty Lane, and in the apartments North of the site, and I think they need to make their opinions known to the Council.
Ingram is a different story. The best thing I can say about the location on the Southeast corner of Corporate and Valley is that it has high visibility to citizens in the area, and if anything went wrong, it would likely be reported very quickly. It's also a little further from Timber Creek, so it's less likely that a surface spill would bring dangerous levels of contaminants to the creek. But that's about the best I can say for it. The site is fairly small, and surrounded by homes and Memorial park. The area is all residential, and I just don't see this industrial use as a fit. The homeowners near the site largely oppose the placement of the wells there.
Placement of pipeline would likely go east through Valley Vista Park, right behind homes, then through the Ingram tract, crossing Timber Creek and going South through the power line easement to cross F.M. 3040 and tie in to Williams pipelines there. There would need to be compressors on site, and equipment to dehydrate the gas. A fair number of residents in the older neighborhoods North and South of the proposed pad site use water wells for their home water sources. I have zero confidence that Titan or any other operator can guarantee that the fracturing of the Barnett Shale 8,000 feet below wouldn't somehow liberate gas or fluids from that layer to migrate up and contaminate these wells. Even if the insurance for the wells could pay for damages - and I suspect it would be difficult for the homeowners to prove it, you simply can't fix a contaminated ground water source. It would be lost forever. Titan also has stated that they would want to flare at least one well at each location. It's just hard to imagine that in the Ingram pad site. South of F.M. 3040, Titan would be able to tie in to an existing pipeline from Williams or Chesapeake and avoid flaring.
I think that most of the gas in the Ingram tract could be reached from pad sites South of F.M. 3040, and the B&H Pad site. Doing so may not be convenient for Titan, who gambled on drilling in a highly-populated urban area, but it's not impossible. Titan would have to reach agreements for land leases down there, and they would have to bring in rigs with bigger draw works capable of drilling much further. Chesapeake has drilled some wells down in the DFW Airport that go nearly two miles laterally, so it can be done and is being done in the area. Going South of 3040 keeps the truck traffic to industrial streets and state highways.
For all of these reasons, I would probably vote against the Ingram location.
(Update: I updated the pipeline description above based on a conversation with Titan VP Chris Hammack)
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