Nearly three weeks after XTO Energy publically announced its intentions to withdraw its applications at the JGJ site (GAS10-004) and Wright site (GAS10-001), the Exxon owned company made the move official by withdrawing its applications.
In a letter dated May 16, 2011, addressed to Planning Director Ken Baker, XTO representative Walter Dueease stated “XTO does not propose any construction activity or intend to commence drilling operations at the JGJ or Joe Wright drillingsites.”
Baker then placed a letter in the City’s XTO files acknowledging the company’s request.
Background of Drilling Applications
On February 22, 2011 the Council granted XTO Energy the City’s first gas drilling specific use permit (SUP) to allow up to 18 well heads in the City of Southlake. The site is located at 651 and 655 East Highland Street. More than 50 conditions were placed on the applicant as part of the SUP.
On March 29, 2011 the Council denied without prejudice XTO’s request to drill at the Wright site located at 1719 East Continental Boulevard.
About two weeks later, a local group of residents then filed suit against the City. The case judge also issued a temporary restraining order preventing the City from issuing any permits for the Milner site. As of this writing the lawsuit and the temporary restraining order against the City is still pending.
On April 27th XTO spokesman Jeffery Neu announced to several newspapers the company’s intention to withdraw their applications, telling the Star Telegram “Building a pipeline for just one site given the smaller gas stream does not yield a project that is competitive with other investment opportunities.”
Southlake is in the midst of a gas drilling moratorium. In mid-January, the City Council placed a temporary ban on new applications until the current ordinance could be reviewed and recommendations made for revision. The moratorium is scheduled to end in July.