Drilling for Natural Gas in Coppell
One of the largest natural gas reserves in the nation is located in around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. With the discovery of the Barnett Shale, and the push to move toward alternative fuel sources, many residents are hearing and seeing activity in this industry. In January 2007, Council approved an ordinance establishing regulations for oil and gas drilling and production, the purpose was to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, while encouraging the orderly production of available mineral resources. On April 28, 2009, Council amended these regulations (Article 9-26 "Oil and Gas Drilling and Production" of the Coppell Code of Ordinances) by increasing setbacks, notification areas and screening requirements. Also included are more stringent environmental regulations, including a noise management plan.
In sum, drilling in Coppell is only permitted in areas zoned Light Industrial and Agriculture. Oil and gas wells are prohibited within one thousand (1,000) feet from any habitable structure (residential or non-residential). Council may reduce this distance to allow a well within three hundred (300) feet of any non-residential building and five hundred (500) feet of any residence, religious institution, public building, school and/or public park after a notified public hearing of all property owners within one thousand (1,000) feet of the perimeter of the pad site. Permits are required prior to any drilling activity within the city.
Frequently Asked Questions
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of requirements and current activities. This is intended to answer some more common questions received concerning this topic. Please refer to Ordinance No. 2009-1228 for all requirements.
Is oil and gas drilling allowed in the City of Coppell?
Yes, but only in areas zoned Light Industrial and Agriculture, which are generally in the west side of town and in the southeast corner. The drilling of wells is prohibited within three hundred (300) feet of any non-residential building and five hundred (500) feet of residences, religious institutions, public buildings, schools and public parks unless approved by Council after a notified public hearing of all property owners within one thousand (1,000) feet of the perimeter of the pad site.
Are there any approved well sites within the Coppell City Limits?
There is an established pad site with multiple wells very close to the western city limit line, north of Bethel Road, on the Fellowship Church property. There is also a pad site south of Bethel Road, west of Royal Lane, on DFW Airport property, which did not require Council approval due to its location on DFW land. Currently, there are no other pending applications to drill in the City of Coppell. However, there are various pending well sites on the Northlake property, in the City of Dallas.
I have been contacted by an oil/gas production company about the lease/purchase of mineral rights on my property. Does the City have any advice?
Due to the technology which allows horizontal drilling for a distance of up to approximately one mile, there has been a flurry of activity related to obtaining leases for mineral rights from Coppell citizens for proposed drill sites either in our neighboring communities or from future sites within the City of Coppell. Representatives of these companies have knocked on doors and sent letters to individual property owners and Homeowners Associations. The City of Coppell requires any person who knocks on doors to obtain a Solicitor Permit from the Police Department. A current list of Solicitors Permits issued by the Coppell Police Department is available online. The signing of contracts for mineral rights is a private arrangement between the property owner and the production company, and the City is not involved in the transaction. Therefore the City cannot advise anyone on this matter. Homeowners may choose to consult a real estate attorney regarding any legal issues.
Additional information concerning the Barnett Shale is available through the following web sites:
Barnett Shale Energy Education Council http://www.bseec.org/index.php
Railroad Commission of Texas http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/barnettshale/index.html
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Marcie Diamond, Assistant Director of Planning at 972-304-3676 or email email@example.com