There's been a war of words for the past six months over how much natural gas production contributes to the air pollution in the Dallas Fort Worth region.
Al Armendariz, an engineering professor at SMU, and Ramon Alvarez, a researcher with the Environmental Defense Fund, issued a study in February that said gas drilling produces more of some pollutants than all the cars and trucks in the Metroplex. Study: Drilling fouls the air
We've got the latest from Mayor Calvin Tillman, who's been fighting a running battle of letters and words with pipeline companies in the Denton County town of DISH.
Loyal readers will remember that DISH, just north of Justin, is at the crossroads of several major pipelines. Tillman says the pipeline companies have too much authority to run pipelines through towns and has been urging other towns to pass resolutions calling on the Legislature to fix the problem.
The sharp slowdown in drilling in the Barnett Shale not only means that the big natural gas field will peak earlier than previously expected, but also that most of the major pipelines aimed at moving gas out of the field are already in place. Barry Davis, president of Dallas-based pipeline operator Crosstex Energy, told a Fort Worth audience Thursday that producers will still need to build smaller pipeline networks, called gathering systems, to carry gas from their wells to processing plants. But “probably 80 or 90 percent of the capital spending” on the big transmission lines that carry gas from the field to distant trading hubs has been done, said Davis, who made his remarks at an energy investment conference sponsored by the Texas Christian University Energy Institute.
Davis estimated that the Barnett Shale’s takeaway capacity – the amount of natural gas that pipelines can carry – stands at between 5.5 and 6 billion cubic feet a day, or Bcf. That compares to producers’ and analysts’ estimates of 4.6 to 5 Bcf a day at year’s end, of which Crosstex handles about 1.2 Bcf, he said. Today’s expected peak is far short of early predictions that the field could grow to 8 or 9 Bcf a day, Davis said, a level that would have required the industry to plow millions more into pipeline infrastructure. In retrospect, he said, the flattening of the Barnett’s production rate will probably result in a more effective use of those pipelines. “So now the Barnett gets to 4.5 or 5 billion Bcf,” he said, and as drilling stabilizes, “it just stays there forever.” That’s in line with comments from some producers in the field, who note that even if the field’s daily production doesn’t peak as high as it might have had the drilling frenzy continued, the field will still produce at a high level for decades.
Chesapeake's request for a high-impact pad site inside Greenwood Cemetery next to Crestwood Park goes back to the City Council Tuesday night.
Three petitions are reportedly circulating -- one by neighborhood residents in favor of the site, one by neighborhood residents against the site and one by trail users against the site.
Opponents have two big issues -- truck traffic on Rockwood Park Drive and the impact on the Trinity River Hike and Bike Trail. The "pro" side wants to see their minerals developed. Click here to see the petition.
The council has kicked this can down the road at least twice. The showdown is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.
Chesapeake's plans for the site are at www.askchesapeake.com. (Click on the "neighborhoods" drop down menu). The company's map of the site is below.