|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Fracking on Lake Livingston?
BY MARTHA CHARREY
WATERWOOD – Known for his involvement in protecting national forests and natural areas in East Texas, local property owner George Russell has turned his attention to an exploratory well in San Jacinto and Walker counties that is said to be gushing oil and natural gas. Colorado-based SM Energy Company announced last week in a news release the successful completion of an exploratory test well in San Jacinto County. The Horizon Properties 2H, a horizontal completion in the Woodbine interval, produced about 740 BOE/d in a 24-hour test, flowing at 1,520 PSIG casing pressure on a 27/64ths inch choke, while cleaning up after fracture stimulation. The company has increased its acreage position in East Texas to about 105,000 net acres and expects to drill additional test wells targeting the Woodbine formation as well as other intervals of interest beginning in the third quarter of 2013. SM Energy expects to construct the necessary gathering system once several of these wells have been drilled.Chief Executive Officer for SM Energy Tony Best said, "We are excited about the initial results in our first Woodbine test in East Texas. The Horizon Properties 2H well was a science well with about 2,500 feet of effectively stimulated lateral length. Soon after SM Energy's announcement, George Russell sent an open records request to the Trinity River Authority (TRA) asking for rules or regulations that pertain to "fracking" and/ or oil and gas drilling on or near the shores of Lake Livingston or other TRA managed properties. According to Russell, over 100,000 acres of minerals have recently been leased to oil/gas enterprises in the Trinity River watershed and/or adjacent to the shores of Lake Livingston in San Jacinto and Walker counties. "SM Energy recently announced the successful completion of a well five miles to the southeast side of Riverside on Walker/San Jacinto County line. It appears that water for this operation is being taken from the Carolina Creek branch of Lake Livingston at FM 980. "If there is a frenzy to frack and develop hydrocarbons adjacent to and underlying Lake Livingston, it is probable that there will be toxic chemicals, erosion, hazardous wastes, hydrocarbons and other substances that would have a serious negative impact on critical public drinking water supplies that serve Houston, Huntsville, Livingston and other communities in southeast Texas," Russell said. "There should be safeguards in place by the legislature or other agencies entrusted with the safety of the people." Russell said he has been in touch with the Texas Railroad Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Trinity River Authority (TRA) and found nothing to protect the public. In his open records request, Russell is also asking for any drilling permits that have been issued or requested for lands owned or managed by TRA; any rules or requirements that drilling companies must adhere to in taking water from Lake Livingston for any operations associated with oil/ gas drilling; any rules or requirements that drilling companies must adhere to in taking water from Lake Livingston for any operations associated with oil/ gas drilling; any rules or regulations in regard to the disposal of wastes of any kind into active or ephemeral streams that eventually empty into Lake Livingston or the Trinity river; any setback requirements for well pad sites from the shores of Lake Livingston or any geological feature that empties into Lake Livingston or the Trinity river; any interagency communication between the TRA, Texas Railroad Com-mission, EPA, TCEQ, or any other state or federal agency responsible for monitoring the conduct of oil and gas exploration companies in regard to any environmental damage that may be caused by fracking and/or drilling operations that could possibly damage, harm or pollute waters in the Trinity River watershed, including Lake Livingston.