Urban drilling bonanza pits neighbor against neighbor
Bishop Kenneth Spears always thought gifts from God came from above. He never imagined that the gifts would be hiding under his church in Fort Worth, Texas.
"The Bible says, 'Every place the sole of your foot should tread upon, I'll give it to you,' " said Spears, of the First St. John Missionary Baptist Church. "I walked and believed that if I prayed over that ground, if I walked over that ground, something good would come of it."
In 2006, he learned that all 15 acres of the church's property are on one of the largest natural gas fields in the country, known as the Barnett Shale.
Spears' church and thousands of residents around the Fort Worth area are cashing in on a unique urban drilling bonanza.
With the development of horizontal drilling technology and with gas prices sky-high, energy companies are racing to tap into the Barnett Shale natural gas field.
The Barnett Shale is the most-productive natural gas field in such a highly populated area spanning 5,000 square miles. The drilling here is being watched closely in Louisiana and Pennsylvania, which also have natural gas fields under urban areas
Energy companies are going door to door and negotiating mineral rights with the residents who get an initial payment and monthly royalties if the Gas is found and used. Some are not at all happy about the drilling, one Fort Worth blogger says, "It's a divide and conquer strategy by going around and giving everybody enough money to keep them quiet. Hush money is what I call it." (FWCanDo.org).
Others would call it paying the owners for the minerals they own -- after all they don't have the ability to extract it themselves and it wasn't doing them any one any good where it was. Wonder if the blogger feels the same about the money we send the Canadians, Mexicans, or Saudis each year.
Yet the Democrats won't allow us to drill under the friggin caribou! Nice energy policy you got there Nancy!