County officials talk about the impact of drilling in Eagle Ford Shale

By by Dianna Wray
April 5, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Updated April 4, 2011 at 11:05 p.m.

CUERO -The DeWitt County Commissioners Court held a special meeting on Tuesday to talk about the impact drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale is having on its county.

Judges and commissioners from various counties on the shale, including Wilson, Colorado and Lavaca counties, gathered at the meeting to discuss the different issues that come with an increase in drilling. Representatives from oil companies were also invited to attend the meeting.

DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler said he called the meeting as a way to create a forum where they could compare notes about how they were handling the dramatic increase in drilling counties located on the shale have seen.

The meeting touched on everything from the question of what to charge for drilling permits to housing shortages and the need for every drilling site to have a registered address in case of emergency.

Damage to roads was one of the main points of discussion. Cindy Fox is a mineral appraiser with Pritchard & Abbott, Inc. a consulting firm hired by DeWitt County.

Fox told the commissioners that while they will see an increase in tax revenue from the drilling eventually, it takes a couple of years before that money actually gets to the county.

Because of this, it is important to make sure the companies responsible for damaging the roads make agreements to deal with the damage directly, Fowler said.

Fowler said he hopes to have more meetings with representatives from different counties so they can all be on the same page dealing with drilling in Eagle Ford Shale.

"This meeting was a way to get together and share information about the issues we're all experiencing," Fowler said.



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