It is an earth pit lined with plastic. Its measurements run in the range of 200 feet by 400 feet, depending on how much water is used to fracture the wells. These pits are filled with fresh water and look like a large swimming pool. It takes approximately 4,000,000 gallons of water to fracture a well. The pits are leveled and the land restored when the operator is finished with the drill site.
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There are currently 204 wells drilled within the City.
The Gas Well Inspector regularly inspects each drill site within our jurisdiction in accordance with Chapter 114 of the Mansfield Code of Ordinances. Drill sites are also inspected by the Fire Marshal’s office. In addition to municipal oversight, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has jurisdiction over well permitting, inspections, and production in accordance with applicable state rules and regulations.
Applications may be obtained from the Planning Department Counter or from our website.
Approximately 90 to 120 days to complete the zoning process.
The specific use permit (SUP) and the Gas Well Permit can be processed concurrently. However, a gas well permit cannot be issued until the SUP is approved.
An application (PDF) can be obtained from the Planning page on the City website. We recommend that the applicant schedule a meeting with staff prior to actually submitting the application and requested materials.
Approximately 30 to 45 days.
Gas wells in production do not create much noise. A gas well may occasionally need the use of a lift compressor to maintain production, but City regulations require that any noise from the compressor above the legal limit must be mitigated.
Gas that is produced from the Barnett Shale is odorless.
The lights you see are needed for the 24 hour operation. They are turned in towards the drill site and away from adjacent properties. This operation normally last only about 30 days.
The City works with the gas well operators to determine a truck route that will have the least impact on traffic as part of the specific use permit (SUP). The gas well operator must use only the streets designated on the approved truck route, and must pay a road damage remediation fee.
Some wells produce 15 to 20 years, depending on the quality of the formation.
Natural gas is transported via buried pipelines. These lines are all clearly marked with pipe markers that are normally bright yellow markings with the company name and emergency phone numbers.
Before you dig on your property, contact the Texas one-call center by dialing 811 at least 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays) prior to beginning the excavation. The operators will come and mark their underground facilities. There is no charge for this service and is required by state law.
These are terms used in the industry for moving in the drilling rig; installing all the parts, units, motors and equipment; and getting ready to drill the well. Once the well is drilled, the process is again done in reverse to remove all the equipment used in the drilling operations.
A term used in the industry to reflect the beginning of drilling operations of a well.
Most operators purchase water from the City.
Cuttings are particles of formation obtained from a well during drilling operations. They are brought to the surface by circulating mud-laden fluid. The cuttings that are created will be transported by truck off location to an approved disposal system. All of the disposal sites have been approved and monitored by the Texas Railroad Commission.
Circulating is the pumping of drilling fluid from the suction pit, through the drill pipe and back to the surface through the annulus. Although mud is circulated, the terms "circulated" or "circulating" applies to this operation while drilling is temporarily suspended, to obtain samples from bottom or keep hole in condition while awaiting other operations.
Cementing is the operation by which a cement slurry is forced down through the casing and out at the lower end in such a way that it fills the space between the casing and the sides of the well bore to a predetermined height above the bottom of the well. This is for the purpose of securing the casing in place and excluding water and other fluids from the well bore. All cements are in a liquid phase and able to be pumped by pumps.
Fracturing is a means of opening the fissures in the Barnett Shale formation by the use of hydraulic pumps and fracturing fluid. Fresh water stored in frac pits is pumped in stages into the Barnett Shale formation. Once fractures in the rock have been created, sand (like beach sand) is mixed with the fresh water and pumped into these fractures to help prevent the fracture from closing back once the hydraulic force is reduced. By packing or filling of these fractures with sand, this will allow the formation to produce into the new drilled well bore (hole) and bring gas to surface.
A term applied to the valves and fittings assembled at the top of a well to control the flow of the gas. These valves and fittings are all pressure tested to a minimum of 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi) before and after installing.
A tank battery is a group of tanks that are connected to receive produced water from a well. A tank is normally a single- or double-steel or fiberglass vessel that can hold 200 to 400 barrels. The tank battery also includes some production equipment, such as gas separators which allow the produced water to be separated from the gas. The produced water is removed from the tanks by truck, and taken to disposal facilities outside of the City.
A sudden, escape of gas and water from a drilling well when high pressure gas is encountered and efforts to prevent or to control the escape has not been successful.
A device attached immediately above the casing to control the pressure and prevent the escape of fluids from the annular space between the drill pipe and casing or shut off the hole, if no drill pipe is in the hole, should a blowout occur. These devices are pressure tested between 3,500 to 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi) when installed and every two weeks afterwards.
The Fire Department handles all gas well emergencies. If there is an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
For non-emergency gas well concerns, contact the Gas Well Inspector.
The City does not handle royalties or mineral rights. If you have any questions, you should call the operator of the gas well on or adjacent to your property.
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) department set the depths to protect our natural fresh water zones on interest in Texas. By law, the surface casing of a well must extend 20 feet beyond the depth of a fresh water zone as determined by the RRC. The surface casing is cemented back to the surface to protect these fresh water bearing zones.
Please contact the Gas Well Inspector at 817-276-4254 or by email, for general inquiries and concerns related to provisions of the City's drilling regulations. For other concerns, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has jurisdiction over well permitting and inspections, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has jurisdiction over environmental concerns. Please contact the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) at their website, or by calling 512-463-7288.