Nearly a year after getting permission to drill and oil and gas well near Texoma Parkway from the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission, Roff Operating Co. received the same permission from the Sherman City Council Monday evening. The company recently received a drilling permit from the Texas Railroad Commission, which was the reason for the delay.
The council unanimously voted to approve the specific use permit for the well, which will be located at 1220 E. Peyton St., between Loy Lake Road and Texoma Parkway, following a public hearing on the matter that saw no one come forward to address the council.
“This is a final step for the specific use permit for this oil well,” Sherman Director of Developmental Services Scott Shadden said, adding the P&Z recommendation was a unanimous decision. “We’ve been waiting on the Railroad Commission for some permits and now they have those in hand so they’re moving forward.”
Frank McColloch, who represented Roff Operating Co. before the commission last year said the machinery to drill the well may be visible at first on the property, which is behind Pizza Hut between Loy Lake Road and Texoma Parkway, but then it would not be very easy to see. At the time, McColloch estimated the drilling should take about a month and said it is reasonable to expect the well could operate for 20 to 30 years.
The council approved with the specific use permit Monday with no discussion.
McColloch told the Herald Democrat last year that any hydraulic fracturing done at the well would be done “in the same manner as the other wells have been completed in this area.”
The Railroad Commission of Texas defines hydraulic fracturing, which is commonly known as fracking, as “the stimulation of a well by the application of hydraulic fracturing fluid under pressure for the express purpose of initiating or propagating fractures in a target geologic formation to enhance production of oil and/or natural gas.”
When asked what would be done with any water used in the hydraulic fracturing process last year, McColloch said via email that it would be a small amount of water and “any frac water that is recovered will be disposed of into a Class II injection well that is subject to the rules and regulations of the Texas Railroad Commission.”
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report concluded in 2016 that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances, but the Railroad Commission states on its website that its records “do not indicate a single documented groundwater contamination case associated with the process of hydraulic fracturing in Texas.”
“You’ve had a lot of wells drilled and completed up in the city of Sherman and the completion techniques will be the same on this well as all the other wells that have been completed up there,” McColloch said last year. “It’s not going to be one of those big fracks that you hear about out in West Texas and the Barnett Shale. It’s nothing anywhere near like that.”
The website texas-drilling.com, which compiles oil and gas data from the Texas Railroad Commission obtained through the Texas Public Information Act, lists 112 drilled oil and gas wells in Sherman, with 15 currently producing.
Shadden said last year, to his knowledge, the East Peyton Street location was the third location in the city that Roff had looked at for a well. The planned well on East Peyton Street will be a conventional vertical well that is expected to produce in a manner similar to the other wells in Sherman. In the document prepared for the council, city staff said drilling operations will begin later this year.