Fort Worth and much of north Texas, including most of the D/FW Metroplex, have been enjoying a natural gas boom. In more ways than one.††

"As of 2007, recent advances in the technology of horizontal drilling have opened up the potential of the Barnett Shale as a major producer of natural gas. Horizontal drilling has changed the way oil and gas drilling is done by allowing producers to drill horizontally beneath neighborhoods, schools and airports. Since much of the gas in the Barnett Shale is lodged beneath the City of Fort Worth, this new drilling technology has created a boom for the city."

source:Wikipedia, rest of article below

Barnett Shale Reserve in Texas Explosion. click a thumbnail to view a photo

The 'Boom' you see in the next 2 photos occurred March 12, 2007, billowing a plume of black smoke that was visible from far east Fort Worth. Even though the natural gas drilling related explosion occurred west of downtown Fort Worth.

Barnett Shale Reserve in Texas Explosion. No one died in this explosion.†

However, less than a year earlier, on April 22, 2006 in the Forest Hill area of south Fort Worth an explosion at a natural gas well killed one worker and forced hundreds of residents out of their homes.

Other notable recent explosions in the Barnett Shale zone are a December 16, 2005 big boom in Palo Pinto County caused when a drill bit struck a gas pocket, setting off a massive explosion creating a 750 foot wide crater. No one died, one worker suffered minor burns.

An indicator of the lax security surrounding the drilling operations occurred December 16, 2006 in Springtown when a 14 year old boy died after he lifted the lid of an oil tank and dropped a piece of burning paper inside. Yes, there may have been Darwinian selection in play with this incident.

Fort Worth Stockyards Gets a Drilling Operation. June 8, 2008, while biking the Trinity Trail near the Fort Worth Stockyards, we were surprised by a new addition to the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District. I would not want to be biking near this if what happened in the two previous photos were to occur.

We blogged about this last week after we got home.
And again today.

Click here for Video of a Barnett Shale Gas Well Explosion

Click for Barnett Shale Gas Drilling Videos

November 2007----Dust from the Drilling Operation now blankets this Apartment Complex
Barnett Shale Reserve in Fort Worth. Here we see several photos showing how close the drilling operations are to densely populated areas. We are looking at the Havenwood Apartment Complex, from the Albertsons parking lot near the intersection of Interstates 820 and 30.
Barnett Shale Reserve in Fort Worth. Would you like one of these in your neighborhood?

The drill rig you see in these photos is in far east Fort Worth, very close to the 820 Freeway.

Barnett Shale Reserve in Fort Worth.
Barnett Shale Reserve in Fort Worth. In addition to occasionally exploding the drilling rigs are very noisy. Some people decide to move away from them and find out no one will buy their house. At night the drilling rigs light up like a Christmas tree.

Below are photos of the same location, taken during the fracturing operation which fractured this neighborhood under a cloud of corrosive dust.

Satellite View Satellite view of the gas drilling site a short distance away from the above apartment buildings and houses.

Just Say No To Urban Drilling

Here we see the road into this Chesapeake Drilling Operation. It is now at the fracturing stage, meaning scores of trucks hauling water to the site. At times dozens of tanker trucks backed up on the public street. The roadway into this site was covered with some sort of crushed rock. We suspect there is limestone in the mix. As the trucks come and go huge dust clouds spew in their wake, making a mess of this densely populated neighborhood.
With cooler Fall temperatures dew has arrived which turns the gravel dust into a sludge. It is very sticky and difficult to remove. Many have given up trying to keep their vehicles clean.†
Were is the EPA? Where is whatever branch of Fort Worth's city government is in charge of writing citations to businesses doing damage of this sort to innocent bystanders?
This is the worst case we found. Before the dust storm began this car was kept shiny clean. The owner has given up for the duration. The limestone dust mixed with the water from morning dew makes a sort of concrete paste that may never wash off.

The dust gets inside the vehicles as well

There is currently a warrant out for the arrest of the driver of the car in the foreground. See those stickers in the window? One of them is the annual emissions test sticker. In 2004 the driver was late getting his sticker, a cop saw the outdated sticker and wrote a ticket. The driver appeared in court, thought the matter was taken care of. Now in 2007 the driver received a rather bizarre letter in the mail from the city of Fort Worth saying an arrest warrant had been issued because of the tardy emissions test in 2004. Now, this is a car that passed its emission test, never failed. Do we need to point out the irony of the city of Fort Worth harassing this citizen while corrosive dust clouds emit pollution in Fort Worth, free from any arrest warrants being issued, warrants that would seem in the dust polluters case to be well warranted.
The local media, for the most part, seems to ignore these minor results of the drilling in the D/FW urban zone. And how it is affecting people. Some allergy sufferers who live in this dusty area claim the dust is making their symptoms much worse.†

The dust also gets into the buildings. Due to the noise and the dust several people have moved. Some have resorted to desperate measures such as the screen you see in this photo, a likely futile attempt to block some of the dust.†

There are pockets of resistance trying to cause the local governments to do the right thing regarding these outrages.†

Click for Barnett Shale Gas Drilling Videos

June 4, 2008 we Blogged about Tommy Lee Jones and the Barnett Shale.


Fort Worth Heritage Park Drilling
The Fort Worth City Council approved an easement on a half-acre of Heritage Park in north Downtown Fort Worth. Perhaps this is the real reason the park was closed and cordoned off by chain link fence.
Sludge Leak
Southbound Texas 174 in Burleson was reduced to one lane on Halloween Eve after sludge from a gas well leaked from a truck hauling it to an unknown destination. Cleanup was expected to be completed by mid-day Halloween.


I am a huge supporter of reforestation in the DFW area and have worked on tree grant programs when I lived in Fort Worth. I am very disturbed by the decision by the North Richland Hills city council to allow Natural Gas Drilling rigs on park property.† There is a gas company currently surveying and staking out a very large section of Little Bear Creek Park in the northwest part of NRH.† They have flagged many, many mature trees for clear cutting.† Many of the trees are native breeds and a large part of them are evergreens planted by the city over ten years ago!

The decision was made with virtually no notice to the public other than what is required by law - posting a public hearing date in the paper.† Therefore not one resident spoke when the issue came up to vote ... no one knew about it!

We are currently organizing, passing out flyers and getting petitions signed before a drilling permit gets signed.† I have also been talking to John Pistick and members of the Parks and Recreation department for NRH but nobody seems too interested in stopping this activity.† Is there anything you can do to help us?† Is there anyone in this area that could be an advocate for our cause.

Thanks in advance for your consideration, if you have any suggestions that would help us fight this please let me know!

Barry Thompson


On August 29. 2007 a full page ad was placed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram protesting Chesapeake Energy's planned destruction of a wooded area many considered to be part of the Trinity River Hike and Bike Trail west of Forest Park. A protest of this sort has been very rare during our years in Texas. In fact, we can not remember this level of civic activism over any other issue during our time in Texas. No organized protests over the many abuses of the eminent domain law, no organized protests over seeming boondoggles such as spending millions to build diversion canals and a lake in a supposed flood control project on Forth Worth's Trinity River, while a few miles north people have drowned in out of control flooding in Haltom City caused primarily be development in far north Fort Worth. The Army Corps of Engineers has had the Haltom City flooding problem under study since 1974 with nothing being done despite drownings and the destruction of dozens upon dozens of homes, yet somehow the Army Corps of Engineers quickly signed on to the Trinity River Uptown Flood Control project, to the tune of millions of dollars, despite there not having been flood damage in that area for over 50 years, not since a flood that did do damage and did cause the Army Corps of Engineers to build huge levees which have stopped high water from doing damage for over a half century. But we digress, we started off talking about Chesapeake Energy's planned destruction of an 8 acre stretch of the Trinity River Trail. The plan is to clear about 2 acres of trees in order to drill under Colonial Country Club and the Union Pacific rail yard.. Chesapeake plans to drill up to 8 wells and keep the area around the wells barren of vegetation for up to 50 years. The group that is trying to stop this, trying to get the city of Fort Worth to use its power to intervene has set up a very good website, where you can learn more and see how you can help stop this latest experiment in urban drilling.
3 Photos of the Controversial Trinity Trees Drilling Site
chesapeake.jpg (68236 bytes)
Channel 11 News Report about Barnett Shale Revenue....
More and More Texans are starting to fight back, fighting to protect their city, their environment and their lives. The most prominent group of the Resistance Movement is "FW Can Do!" (Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Ordinance) "FW Can Do!" has a very good website with a lot of information about the ongoing Urban Drilling Scandal, including 28 questions for the Mayor of Fort Worth, questions that raise issues of conflict of interest that would have had the mayor of most cities in America in very hot water by now, questions the Mayor of Fort Worth, Mike Moncrief, has not answered. Probably can not answer, because if he was made to answer, under oath in a court of law, for instance, he would finally find himself in the well-deserved hot water he has managed, so far, to escape, but just like a scandal of a bygone era, the Teapot Dome Scandal, also involving drilling, corrupt politicians usually eventually get their deserved justice. The only unknowns at present are what will this scandal eventually be called and how many people will die in the incident that elevates this ongoing madness into an international shocker with follow-up Congressional Hearings and trials with individuals like Mike Moncrief seen on CNN in handcuffs.

All the Hazards of Gas Drilling
2 letters to the editor from the 9/11/2007 Fort Worth Star-Telegram

As the number of natural gas rigs and wells increases, so will accidents involving the wells---like the one Aug. 29 in Acton, where residents were left cowering under a toxic cloud. Will someone---anyone---with regulatory authority (county commissioners, the Texas Railroad Commission, city councils, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security) please protect us! State and municipal regulations so far do not! Increase the minimum distance of gas wells from homes and schools to 1,000 feet, and abide by the regulation---no waivers for sake of greed. We don't deserve to live under the cloud of what the Railroad Commission so casually calls "incidents."

Linda Yarbrough

Allan Saxe's Aug. 27 column equated the Texas and Oklahoma oil wells of his childhood memories to the Barnett Shale gas wells. That's like comparing a BB gun to an assault weapon. The highly invasive practice of fracturing shale was developed only recently. It requires pumping millions of gallons of water loaded with chemicals under high pressure into the drilling hole with enough force to fracture the shale and release the gas. Saxe was correct in saying the Barnett Shale drilling will bring a lot of money into the area. But, sadly, most of that money won't land in the bank accounts of average Texans. Saxe's argument that we should endure the drilling noise and big trucks in an effort to make our country "a bit more independent of nations that wish us no good" had merit. But the only real solution to our energy problems is to develop clean, renewable sources, and we should do that sooner rather than later.

Sharon Wilson

If you find it surprising what is allowed near apartment buildings in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, check out the manmade disaster that destroyed scores of apartment buildings and homes in another area of D/FW.
An east Fort Worth gas fireball.

Meanwhile, in a gas fireball not related to the drilling of Barnett Shale, around 7 a.m. on April 22, 2007 a natural gas transmission line belched out some gas and ignited. This occurred about 2 miles south of the drilling rig you see in the above photos. No one was injured in this incident and it was quickly brought under control.

Click here for Video of a Barnett Shale Gas Well Explosion

newlondonexplosion.jpg (52853 bytes) Texas has a long history of natural gas explosion disasters. The New London School explosion of March 18,1937 killed over 300 students and teachers. After the disaster Texas mandated that a detectable odor be added to natural gas, a practice the rest of the world soon adopted.†

Click for more details, including the involvement of both Walter Cronkite and Adolph Hitler in the disaster.

Barnett Shale
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some experts have suggested the Barnett Shale may be the largest onshore natural gas field in the United States. The field is proven to have 2.1 trillion cubic feet (59 km≥) of natural gas, and is widely estimated to contain as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources. Oil has also been found in lesser quantities, but sufficient (with recent high oil prices) to be commercially viable.

The Barnett Shale is known as a "tight gas" reservoir, indicating that the gas is not easily extracted. The shale is very hard, and was virtually impossible to produce gas in commercial quantities from this formation until recent improvements were made in hydrofracture technology (and recent price increases in natural gas prices made the technology economically feasible).

Operators, such as EOG Resources and Devon Energy, have stated in Public Reports (which can be found on their websites) as recently as Mid-2005 that they estimate that 1/3 to 1/2 of the land in these counties, including "hot" counties like Johnson and Tarrant, will get wells (It would logically flow that the rest of the land will either get pooled in a unit that will have wells, or get nothing at all if the land is in an especially complex area). There have been few dry holes drilled, however, because technology like 3D Seismic allows operators to predict faulting and karsting before they drill and avoid this bad acreage.

Future development of the field will also be hampered in part by the fact that major portions of the field are covered by development and will continue to be, since it is located in portions of the rapidly growing Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Some local governments are researching means where they can drill on existing public land (e.g., parks) without disrupting other activities so they may obtain royalties on any minerals found, while others are seeking compensation from drilling companies for damage to roads caused by overweight vehicles (many of the roads are rural and not designed for use by heavy equipment).

As of 2007, recent advances in the technology of horizontal drilling have opened up the potential of the Barnett Shale as a major producer of natural gas. Horizontal drilling has changed the way oil and gas drilling is done by allowing producers to drill horizontally beneath neighborhoods, schools and airports. Since much of the gas in the Barnett Shale is lodged beneath the City of Fort Worth, this new drilling technology has created a boom for the city. The new technology has brought in a tremendous number of independent producers both large and small, including Crown Exploration located in Carrollton, Texas.

Information obtained from various sources, including Wikipedia.

June 4, 2008 we Blogged about Tommy Lee Jones and the Barnett Shale.

June 26, 2008 we Blogged about the Barnett Shale making an Azle, Texas couple's life miserable. And a hellish hole in Turkmenistan

August 27, 2008 we Blogged about a New Chesapeake Hole in our Neighborhood

August 28, 2008 we Blogged about the Stairtown Texas Gas Explosion

September 6, 2008 we Blogged about Yet One More Objection to Urban Drilling

September 8, 2008 we Blogged about Chesapeake Energy Being Sued

Visit our Eyes on Texas Blog to make a 
comment about the Barnett Shale





Downtown Fort Worth    Cultural District  

Stockyards     Fort Worth Herd

 Fort Woof     Main St. Art Fair

Stock Show      Stock Show Parade

Fort Worth Nature Preserve

Fort Worth Spring Palace  
Fort Worth's Lost Heritage     
Tandy Hills Park

A Longhorn in Wildflowers at Lake Grapevine
email feedback

© All Rights Reserved