ARLINGTON -- The city revoked a natural gas drilling permit for the first time this week after discovering that a company was using an unapproved water source for fracking.
One of the city's gas well inspectors found that Chesapeake Energy was bringing in water from a Fort Worth pond through a temporary pipeline to its Barron drill site on West Division Street, Community Development and Planning Director Jim Parajon said Friday. The company's permit, however, said water for drilling operations would be supplied through a nearby fire hydrant.
"When we issue a gas well permit, we issue it based on a clear understanding of all the aspects of the operation," Parajon said.
The city revoked Chesapeake's permit Thursday. The company has 30 days to appeal to the City Council to resume drilling operations. If the appeal is denied, Chesapeake will have to reapply for a new permit, Parajon said.
Chesapeake spokesman Brian Murnahan declined to comment.
This wasn't Chesapeake's first infraction involving water. In August, Arlington cited Chesapeake for trucking water it bought at one of its south Arlington well sites to a Grand Prairie well site, which violates city ordinance. The water, which Chesapeake had paid for, was pulled from a frack pond filled at the site. The company called the incident a misunderstanding and said it would pay the fine, which the city had recommended the court set at the maximum, $2,000.
This year, Arlington increased inspections at its 384 natural gas wells. Wells are now inspected monthly; previously they were visited once a year or when complaints were filed. Random inspections were also made during drilling, city officials said.
Arlington also now provides operators with detailed inspection reports that include photos and comments on such violations as dead landscaping, noise, dust and improperly maintained equipment, and deadlines for fixing those problems.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Susan Schrock, 817-709-7578