- Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 15:51
- Published on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 08:50
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Additional details about two upcoming public informational meetings on fracking were provided this week in a release from Richard Moncure of Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR).
The release details what can be expected at two landowner workshops on gas and oil leasing planned in the area for next week on Dec. 11 in Bowling Green & Dec. 12 in Montross. (Address details listed below.) Both meetings are sponsored by the Friends of the Rappahannock and the Caroline County Countryside Alliance.
Fracking is a process whereby chemicals and water are forced deep into the ground to fracture the shale rock strata to release natural gas so it can be collected by drillers.
Both informational meetings will feature a national expert on shale gas leasing.
The Dec. 2 FOR release notes that Colorado County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt will discuss the shale gas and oil industry and answer questions from landowners who have leased their land, are thinking about leasing or are just concerned about landowner rights and the impacts of drilling on their land and community.
Lachelt is the founder of the national EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project to expand awareness of landowner and community options after BP announced plans to drill more than 1,000 gas wells in La Plata County in 1988.
The Friends of the Rappahannock has learned that a Texas-based company, Shore Exploration & Production Corporation, has leased 84,390 acres in the Northern Neck and the Peninsula areas for gas and oil drilling since 2010, according to FOR Executive Director John Tippett.
The Friends of the Rappahannock’s search of county records this past summer indicated that nearly half the land leased, 40,733 acres, is in Caroline County, with leases in Westmoreland County (13,864 acres, 16.4 percent of the total), Essex County (13,338 acres, 15.8 percent), King George (10,443 acres, 12.4 percent) and King and Queen (6010 acres, 7.1 percent)
“We’re getting questions about what leasing means for landowners and the community,” Tippett said. He added, “The workshop is designed so that landowners and others can learn more before they have to make any decisions.”
Maps of those gas/oil leases in the region along with additional information about energy development in the area can be found at the FOR website: <www.riverfriends.org/fracking>
This area lies within the Taylorsville basin shale deposit, an ancient lake bed that stretches from Richmond to Maryland.
FOR notes that Shore Exploration plans to drill by hydrofracking or fracking, which uses high pressure to force millions of gallons of water, some sand and chemicals a mile or more underground to break up shale rock and release gas or oil. Natural gas fracking has grown rapidly since 1995 in the Marcellus shale play in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The two upcoming meetings will take place next week as follows:
- Wednesday, Dec. 11, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Bowling Green Town Hall, 117 Butler St., Bowling Green.
- Thursday, Dec. 12, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., General District Courtroom, George D. English Building, 111 Polk Street, Montross.
The workshops are free and open to the public and could be helpful to landowners who have leased their land, those considering a lease and anyone concerned about landowner rights and the impacts of gas and oil hydrofracking.
They will offer information about mineral leasing, corporate accountability and gas regulations so landowners can learn about the leasing process, industry tactics and what gas or oil development means for residents and the community.
CONTACT FOR INFORMATION/MAPS OF LEASED AREAS
Those who wish additional information about the upcoming workshops may contact either of those listed below: